In August 2014 we will cycle the 8 Alpine countries and climb their highest mountains

8

countries

1,653

kilometres

51,016

metres of ascent

Click to see interactive map

The Idea

Our love of exploration, pushing boundaries, and being in the mountains inspired us to combine our passions in a unique and visionary challenge.

<p><em>Our love of exploration, pushing boundaries, and being in the mountains inspired us to combine our passions in a unique and visionary challenge.</em></p>

The Alpine Coast to Coast was born from a love of physical endurance challenges and adventure. It involves cycling the 8 alpine countries and climbing their highest mountains over 4 weeks. From Trieste in Italy through Slovenia, Austria, Leichenstein, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France, finishing in Monaco.

By completing the challenge, Sophie will become the first and only person in history to cycle the 8 Alpine countries and climb their highest mountains in one push.

Charley and Sophie have developed a passion for adventure and are excited to test their limits, challenge their comfort zones and show that we are all capable of acheiving far more than we think. 

Sophie says, "This will be the biggest challenge of our lives!" Having cycled in the Alps the last few summers, she knows how tough and gruelling it can be. Inspired by Rule #10 from the Velomati Cycling Rules and armed with a barrage of cheesy motivational quotes, it will be an exercise in digging deep and ignoring the sore bottom! 

Rule #10
It never gets easier, you just go faster. 

Famously (in the cycling world) quoted by Greg Henderson: “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”

When asked what they're most excited about, Charley says: "travelling through new countries, exploring alpine villages, making new friends and bivvying on glaciers under the stars". 

For them, being out in the mountains all day and celebrating epic climbs with friends, beer and great food is living their dream.

The Cycle

"I love nothing more than embarking on epic bike journeys that test my endurance, skill, and motivation" Sophie Radcliffe

<p><em>Sophie Radcliffe

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Over 1600 kms of cycling through the Alps will offer the opportunity to explore stunning scenery, new countries, cultures and lots of great food! Taking in many of the most iconic climbs in the Alps, this will be the longest and toughest ride of Sophie’s cycling career. 

In October 2012, Sophie completed the Three Peaks Cycle Challenge which involves climbing the three highest peaks in the UK and cycling the 720kms between them in three days. The idea for this challenge was born off the back of the Three Peaks. After 15 hours in the saddle, you need a break but Sophie found you can get more from your legs by combining moutaineering and cycling as they use muscles in different ways. 

A test of mental and physical cycling endurance, Sophie will focus on one mile at a time and keep perserving to achieve her goal.

While Sophie is digging deep and cycling up and over col after col, Charley is going to be driving in support, trail running along the route, and climbing some of the most interesting mountains in Europe in addition to the 8 highest in each country they climb together.

 

The Mountains

"The sense of achievement, by overcoming sheer exposure, steep climbs, and long days is only beaten by the stunning views from the summit" Charley Radcliffe

<p><em>"The sense of achievement, by overcoming sheer exposure, steep climbs, and long days is only beaten by the stunning views from the summit"</em> Charley Radcliffe</p>
Triglav, Slovenia

Triglav, Slovenia

2864m

Described as “a Kingdom, not just a mountain”, Triglav is the Slovenian National symbol. It’s a 1-2 day climb with a night in a mountain hut. Considerably higher than any other mountains in the Julian Alps, and on the border of The Alps, Adriatic Sea and central Europea lowlands, the views from the summit are said to be incredibly majestic.

Grossglockner, Austria

Grossglockner, Austria

3798m

Known as “King of the Eastern Alps”, Glossglockner is on the To-Do list for alpinists and non-climbers alike. It’s a 1-2 day climb with an overnight stay in the hut. The route will require glacier traverse and summer alpine mountaineering skills.

Zugspitze, Germany

Zugspitze, Germany

2962m

Beginning in the stunning Hollental gorge, the route climbs to the head of the Hollental valley before taking us up a long summit ridge. Guidebooks recommend it to be an 8 hour climb.

Grauspitz, Lichtenstein

Grauspitz, Lichtenstein

2599m

With no maintained trail leading to the summit of Grauspitz, we are in for adventure! Achieveable in a day’s hike, we’ll have to navigate steep grass slopes and fields of loss rock (scree) before moving along the razor thin ridge to the summit. Apparently this mountain packs “quite a punch for it’s low elevation”.

Dufourspitze, Switzerland

Dufourspitze, Switzerland

4624m

Climbing this iconic peak will require an alpine start at around 2am from the Monte Rosa hut. It will test our alpine mountaineering skils as we ascend the long and exposed ridge to the summit.

Gran Paradiso, Italy

Gran Paradiso, Italy

4061m

With Mont Blanc straddling both Italy and France, we have included the Gran Paradiso, a beautiful summit that sits securely inside the Italian borders.

Mont Blanc, France

Mont Blanc, France

4810m

The Queen of the Alps, rising above all other mountains in Western Europe. Mont Blanc captures the imaginations of climbers worldwide with Sophie and Charley returning to climb her once again.

Chemin des Révoires, Monaco

Chemin des Révoires, Monaco

161m

With no true summit, this road is the highest point in Monaco. What better way to finish our adventure than to roll down onto the beach for a well earned drink?

The Team

After getting married in 2013, Sophie and Charley are setting out on this new adventure together to see where life will take them.

<p><em>After getting married in 2013, Sophie and Charley are setting out on this new adventure together to see where life will take them.</em></p>
Sophie Radcliffe



ChallengeSophie.com

Sophie Radcliffe

Sophie is an ordinary Londoner who loves to challenge herself.

She’s been adventure racing in Borneo, become an Ironman, climbed in the Alps and cycled from London to Paris in 24 hours. For her, challenges are all about getting fit, having fun and celebrating the achievement.

She believes it is through challenges that we learn about ourselves, adapt and achieve the unexpected which gives us the confidence to raise the bar again.

She’s on a mission to encourage others to get fit and challenge themselves by showing you don't have to be an elite athlete or the fastest or fittest to challenge yourself and accomplish your goals.

Charley Radcliffe



DigitalSteak.com

Charley Radcliffe

Charley’s first experience of what the mountains can offer was when he and Sophie climbed Mont Blanc in 2010.

No matter what the weather, when Charley is in the mountains, he lights up. Making the most of weekends and holidays he’s focused on developing his skills as a climber throughout the winter and summer in the Peak District, Scotland and The Alps.

A natural problem solver, he loves the mental challenge of climbing and the combination of managing risk whilst physically pushing himself to the limit.

The Supporters

Amazing support from incredible brands, is helping to make this possible. Thank you!

<p><em>Amazing support from incredible brands, is helping to make this possible. Thank you!</em></p>

Clothing

Cycling

Eyewear

Watch / GPS

Base Layers

Gear

Camera / Phone

Email us if you would like to support our epic adventure

Contact

Our aim with the Alpine Coast to Coast is to inspire and share our journey far and wide. Come join us here!

<p><em>Our aim with the Alpine Coast to Coast is to inspire and share our journey far and wide. Come join us here!</em></p>

We would love your support so come say hi!

You can get in touch on twitter:

or info@alpinecoasttocoast.com

Or say hi in the comments below:

  • Neil and Harriet Pike

    Looks great – good luck guys! Cycling to and climbing peaks is the way forward!

    • http://digitalsteak.com/ Charley Radcliffe

      Thanks guys!

  • Liam Garrison

    Such a fantastic idea! Definitely the way forward. I’m doing a similar thing in America: http://climbersonwheels.com

    • http://digitalsteak.com/ Charley Radcliffe

      Amazing, guys! When do you start?

      • Liam Garrison

        3rd August. Taking twin ropes and full climbing rack is going to mean slow progress on the bike! You guys taking all your gear with you?

        • http://digitalsteak.com/ Charley Radcliffe

          I’m driving in support of the cycle, then we’re climbing together. I’ll be going off on other climbs while Sophie is slaving away on the bike! Enjoy and looking forward to reading your updates!

          • Liam Garrison

            Ah nice one. So she’s doing all the hard work haha! Same. Will follow your updates too!

  • LeEllen Lewis

    Wicked excited for you all to do this and follow you the whole way! Good luck!!! :)

    • http://digitalsteak.com/ Charley Radcliffe

      Thanks LeEllen!

  • http://www.shoppingscout.com Jacob Warwick

    Oh yes! A big fan of this. So happy for you guys!

  • Nicola Stanhope

    Hey Challenge Sophie and Digital Steak – you only went and did it! xxx