The Pico de Veleta and Mount Teidi have nothing on Mauna Kea.
The volcano which dominates the island of Hawaii is ranked as the most difficult climb in the world by climbbybike.com and it’s easy to see why. The ascent starts from the city of Hilo, on the island’s east coast, and heads skyward for an incredible 68.6km to the summit at 4,217m.
The average gradient is 6 per cent but that only hides the double-digit gradients saved for the final third of the ride. A 7km section of gravel road also means the right bike is a must but the tarmac returns for the final oxygen-free haul to the summit.
Only 12 foolhardy cyclists have taken on the climb’s Strava segment, with the fastest time 5:36.55 hours and the slowest nearly double that. Rather them than us.
Average gradient: six per cent
Start elevation: 32m
End elevation: 4,217m