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Video: climbs to ride – Mount Evans

What's it like to ride the highest paved road in North America, in the Chicago Peaks?

Mount Evans is the highest paved road in North America, which when you consider the heights the Rockies reach is quite some feat.

At 14,130ft (4,307m) high, oxygen is in distinctly short supply at the summit – to put it into context, in Mike Cotty’s words, that’s like taking the Galibier and sticking Alpe d’Huez on top.

Given the climbing starts at the oxygen-deprived heights of 2,294m above sea level, you can imagine how deep you have to dig to take it on.

Mount Evans is the highest paved road in North America and dwarves some of Europe’s toughest peaks (pic: Col Collective)

But that hasn’t stopped Cotty, for the latest instalment from the Col Collective, in which he has dubbed the ascent ‘one of the hardest climbs there is’.

“Although the gradient is never too steep, averaging 4.7% and topping out at 10% it’s the combination of the altitude and elements working together that make this one of the hardest climbs there is,” he explains.

“With 60% less oxygen than at sea level, and a ripping headwind, the final miles often result in nothing more than sheer bloody mindedness and a will to survive. Well, at least that’s what it felt like to me.”

Though the gradient is not too steep, the altitude and fierce headwind make it ‘one of the toughest climbs there is’ (pic: Col Collective)

Check out the video above, or see more from the Col Collective here.

Vital statistics

Start: Idaho Springs
Length: 27.9mi / 43.9km
Summit: 14,130ft / 4,307m
Elevation gain: 6,944ft / 2116m
Average gradient: 4.6%
Max gradient: 10%
Ridden in September

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