Or so it seems. Strava, it appears, is not only a playpen for overly-competitive type A’s (although it’s definitely that. The KOM I achieved yesterday has already been bested…I will go back and rectify this!), it is also informative. How?
One of the guys I follow – and one of my future clients for an Alps tour this summer – just climbed what looked like a mistake: an 80 km segment that had 3157 meters of elevation gain…straight up. I had heard rumors of this mythic monster, but hadn’t seen a profile of the beast till yesterday.
This is the graph that profiles the Alto de Letras, Colombia’s (and the world’s?) longest climb. It starts at a (presumably) sub-tropical 468 meters, in the town of Mariquita, and tops out at an arctic 3663 meters.
Take a moment and think about the longest climb you’ve ever done, then start multiplying not only the elevation gain, but the distance as well. For me, I suppose the Col de la Bonette would be one of the longest/highest I’ve done:
- Distance: 24 km
- Elevation gain: 1589
- Highest point: 2802
So for me: Distance x 3.3, Elevation gain x 2, Highest point x 1.3.
Here is a helpful graph with a few other famous climbs that highlights the Alto de Letras’ awesomeness.
So, fellow Strava users, when you get that KOM on the ‘Climb from Stop Sign to 7-11’ segment you created last week, pause for a second and return to reality. You’ll be a better, humbler climber for it.
Read Cycling Inquisition’s article on this climb here (and everything else he writes). Here is a personal account of the climb, too.