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Hill Comparisons

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 27 February 2008

So... what with being a nerd and all, I knocked up a small script just now that extracts the elevation profiles between two points in a GPX file (an export from MB will do the trick).

I thought it might be fun to do this and show certain hills we ride, you know - so people can get an idea of the challenge before doing them.

I can think that several of the Cascades climbs should be on this, Heartbreak hill at Manly and various others. Suggestions are welcome, comment below.

And then you get to the monsters! Laughing out loud

This rough sample shows the comparison between the climb from the creek crossing at Andersons to the gate at the top (in blue) with the first Climb of Dirtworks last couple of years - Wrights Creek (in green). Now these are pretty nasty, but look how feeble they are next to The Pinch in the snowies (in Red). Hmmmmmm... lucky we were riding down The Pinch is all I can say! Eye-wink

Oh, vertical metres up the left side, Km along the bottom of course.

Brian's picture

That is awesome. I would love to see some of the local ones in comparison as they all feel like monsters when your heart rate is touching 200 bpm and you don't have anything left in the tank.

ar_junkie's picture

But I love your work mate! Eye-wink
Should be interesting to see all the other 'famous' climbs on one graph...

GAZZA's picture

when max heart rate is 220 minus your age i think that id be well dead at 200!!! mind you, i got a nice compliment from the monitor a few weeks ago saying i was only 29! either ive a very strong heart or it was chatting me up and reducing my age by about ten years?? stuart! no need for reply please! or you paul. Eye-wink

ar_junkie's picture

To be the one to have cyber sex with his HRM... Eye-wink

GAZZA's picture


Brian's picture

200bpm or close to it is not uncommon for me. 220 minus my age (33) says my maximun should be 187. I beleive 220-age is only a guide so when people are starting to exercise they don't go out and kill themself trying to find their maximum. Its not that uncommon for me to be around 194bpm going up heart break hill at the dam. I know a low resting heart rate can be a sign of fitness, I also thought the maximum rate wasn't important (to a degree) but the less time it takes to drop after exerting yourself was more important.

Paul's picture

That's cool - the local hills are going to look lame.

To put it in perspective is there any chance of getting one of those infamous Tour De France climbs as a comparison like L'Alpe D'Huez or Col du Tourmalet.

Rob's picture

I think you'd be surprised... the famous Alpe d'Huez climb is only 13.9Km at a 7.9% gradient (692m vertical) according to this:

I've driven up that road, it is rather steep!

However, the steepest climb appears to be on the Morzine stage: Col de Joux-Plane ascent of 11.7Km at a 8.7% gradient (1010m vertical).

Pah! Eye-wink

Nick R's picture

It looks like its about 15% grade!

Rob's picture

Funnily enough, when we got to the bottom not one of us even considered trying to ride up even a tiny section of it. I just don't think it would be remotely possible. I mean, just look at the size of that thing!

Damien's picture

I tried last year but all the people walking get in the way I got about 75 meters before it got too crowded and I had to stop and walk I will give it a go again this if I get a bit further I will be happy.

Harry's picture

Top job Rob, I wonder what's next that will amaze me with what you do/are capable of

Rob's picture

How about this then, an interactive page to compare/contrast hills at will:

This will get a table of vital stats under the graph in the end.

You notice that the individual hills are content types in their own right and can be discussed like any other, Andos, for example:

Eventually everyone will be able to post a hill, just specifying an MB trail they've found it in and the GPS co-ords of each end. Will do that later-ish.

You like?

Harry's picture

Now that's even more impressive

Paul's picture


I just compared "Heartbreak pimple" to "Wrights Creek" - I need to do a heap more training.

Excellent work Rob

Noel's picture

I'm very interested in grade (as big hills hurt). When i read motion based data I click "Elevation" and then check the "Display Grade" box. Thats the closest indicator I could find so far.

Con's picture

where is this 'Pinch' they speak of?

Rob's picture

The Pinch runs down from the range of hills South of Thredbo to Barry Way. We did a nice ride there in Jan:

And yes, that descent is a stupid as it looks! Eye-wink

Bruce's picture

How about adding Brooklyn bridge to Pie In the Sky?
& may be Galston Gorge, Berowra Waters & Bobbin head....
They are all good climbs.

ar_junkie's picture

That would be good to compare profiles and they can be done on all types of bikes...

Rob's picture

Good grief!

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