Average Gradient: 7.7%
Maximum Gradient: 24%
Elevation gain: 990 metres
Traffic: Light traffic
Terrain: State Forest
Road Surface: Sealed
Here is a link to the Strava segment here:
The climb up to Baw Baw is considered one of the hardest climbs in the country. The climb is broken up into two sections with the first 5.7km offering a gentle 4.2% average before you hit the Gantry. From here the road goes skyward and the next 6.5km averages 11.5% & there is no respite until you reach the top.
There is some incredible riding up to the Mt Baw Baw Alpine Village and its narrow windy roads are canopied with lush Snow Gum, and are simply stunning to ride through.
Some consider Mount Baw Baw Australia’s toughest climb. I wouldn’t go that far, but can guarantee that it won’t disappoint. The last 6.5km of Mount Baw Baw gives even the hardiest of Pro’s a nightmare and is an experience that will live with you forever. Averaging over 11.5%. From the Gantry the gradient does not drop below 10% and there is one corner in particular that is truly nasty called “Winch Corner” that is guarantee to test you, peaking at a 20.6%. For those last 6.5km you will not find bit of respite until you reach the top.
The mind game
Mount Baw Baw is the type of climb where you’re going to have to dig deep. There is simply no easy way to climb Baw Baw. You can’t allow any doubts to creep into your mind and no matter how hard the situation may seem. Keep telling yourself to keep turning those pedals and you will make it to the top. And when you do its one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll get on a bike.
Former Warragul Cycling Club member Chris Beales conceived of a race from Warragul to the car park at Mt. Baw Baw back in the year 2000. Chris worked with the Baw Baw shire & resort and worked with the Warragul Cycling Group to turn this into an amateur event. The inaugural race was held in some pretty shoddy conditions and had a little over 100 entries and legend was born.
Pro rider & SBS commentator Dave McKenzie won the inaugural event and commented that the climb was equal to the hard ones in Europe. These comments and the race conditions went a long way to establishing the race as a tough nut of a ride. The race has also been won by a number of other famous riders including Simon Gerrans, Simon Clarke, Matt Clarke & a 3 time winner Nathan Earle.