Albispass and Buchenegg

Two very accessible passes in the Albis range in the vicinity of Zurich. 791m and and 786m above sea level respectively. Not the highest passes around, but high enough and close enough.

View from Buchenegg towards the west

I checked. To the moment of writing, I cycled up these two hills over 120 times altogether. From each side, though more often from the east. In the morning, in the afternoon, and sometimes — like a mad man — in the morning and in the afternoon.

I climbed these two hills in every single season and it never stops to amaze me how beautiful it is there, how remote, and yet, so close to the city.

Autumn, on the top of Buchenegg, the road continues towards Felsenegg, but the pavement vanishes quickly. Great for cross or mountain bike.
Winter view from Albispass towards Pilatus.
Cows are back on Albispass. Spring is back as well.

By now, after these 120 climbs, they should feel “familiar” and the pain of climbing should be gone, yet it is there every time. Every single time. But what is still there as well is this sense of pure satisfaction of reaching the top.

The road winds up the Buchenegg at 10% gradient here

Maybe the reason is that I use them as the benchmark hills, which like the best lie detector can tell me how my form is at any given time. Just climb. Climb and compare with previous attempts. All becomes clear. There is no guesswork left.

Maybe this is why I almost always try to push it up there as much as I can.

And maybe this is why I keep returning there. Or maybe because I just like them.

Sunset from Buchenegg
View from the Albispass descent towards the Zurichsee and the Alps
Loop of Buchenegg and Albispass. A good fitness benchmark.