The latest video from The Col Collective sees Mike Cotty take on Pico de las Nieves, which is the highest peak of the island of Gran Canaria.
Only 100km west of Morocco, Gran Canaria is often overlooked in favour of its big brother Tenerife, but dig a little deeper and you soon discover an island of diversity, wonder and pure magnificence.
Although there are a multitude of routes up to Pico de las Nieves, the highest point on the island, many base themselves in and around Maspalomas.
Often a climb in excess of 40km can be a daunting prospect. The trick here is to think of it as a journey, breaking it down into smaller sections. In that respect the climb up to Pico, (starting on the GC60) is kind, often giving you a short descent just when you need it to recover and enjoy the view. Use all of these opportunities wisely as no sooner have you had a breather then BOOM(!) the gradient kicks back in and it’s time to find your rhythm for another round of switchbacks.
With around 11km to go you hook a sharp right hander at Ayacata to join the GC600. If you need a break then take five at one of many Free Motion Bike Stops on the island. You’re about to hit the hardest part of the climb as the gradient cruelly bites at your quads and calves like a wild dog. It’s at this point that you really need to dig deep, the island’s most significant landmark is just around the corner and what a marvel it is. A 90 metre high monolith of volcanic rock formed over 4.5 million years ago, Roque Nublo (Rock in the Clouds).
As Pico’s dome shaped radar comes into view you’ve now got another landmark to lock your superman eye lasers onto all the way to the top.
Elevation gain: 2,278m
Average gradient: 4.7%
Max gradient: 15%