Located only a few kilometers from Thredbo and crossing the Great Dividing Range, Dead Horse Gap is a popular climb located in the Snowy Mountains (“The Snowys”). Halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, The Snowys may be hard to get to, but it is well worth the trip. Cyclists shouldn't be surprised if they encounter horses and cows, that are anything but dead, while climbing along this steep, long, and smooth road through the mountains of New South Wales. With green hills and alpine daisies in every direction, riders will feel alone in nature as they breathe in the fresh mountain air and surge to the top.
Athlete Experiences 1061
Not appreciating what lay in store, I was more intrigued by the name given to this beautiful part of Australia's Kosciuszko National Park than the distance and grade. A steady pace, good weather and company allowed me to soak in the beauty of the snow gum forests and the wonderful sounds of birdlife (in March) . There were two sections, the climb to Leather Barrel Creek (6K at about 8%) then 8K at 7.5% up to Dead Horse Gap, almost the top of Australia. Reaching the halfway mark I was already exhausted and wondered how I was going to attack the next section without stopping. The steep gradient went on and on and took me by surprise, but the endless twists and turns through magic surroundings were a good distraction from the pain and suffering. Towards the end of the climb I was utterly spent. In the 20 years of cycling in Australia and Europe, this was one of the most memorable rides I have done. I loved it, it gave me a strong sense of achievement and hope to stay fit enough to do it again.
— Linda Mather Athlete ID# 412422
Having ridden some of the big climbs in Europe, people don't realize how tortuous Australia's Snowy Mountains can be. Dead Horse Gap is a relentless climb on Australia's back country passes. Starting at the heart of Man from Snowy River Country and finishing in the ski-fields, it is a memorable day and a must do on any cyclist's bucket list.
— Rachelle Maree Athlete ID# 350760
Dead Horse Gap is the longest and hardest climb I have ridden. At 17km you climb for over an hour, any time under an hour you know you are going well! The average gradient of 6% includes a downhill section so you can imagine what the rest of it is like!
— Lewis Cressy Athlete ID# 241313
What the Australian Alps lack in snow they make up for with solid climbs. Dead horse is just under 20k with the first 9k rarely going under 10%. It can make it hard to save some for the last couple of pinches.
— Saxon Irvine Athlete ID# 783158