Avg Gradient: 5.3%
Metres climbed: 292
Road Surface: mediocre
Norton Summit is arguably the most popular of Adelaide’s Hill Climbs. It’s not too steep, not too long, and has almost no traffic.The climb starts at the beginning of New Norton Summit Road, in Magill. Turn left off Magill road, over the little bridge, and suddenly you’re onto the climb. The first part is the most unpleasant part of the climb – It’s all up hill from here! It starts at a comparatively steep gradient (around 7-8%), and the road surface is very poor. It only continues like this for a couple of hundred metres under the power lines until you go around your first set of turns, after which the road straightens and flattens out a bit.
After this, you have quite a long, relatively straight stretch, before going through some more switch-backs. As you go through these, the gradient increases almost immediately, back up to 6 or 7%. At this point, the view over the city starts to get really impressive, and on a clear day you can see right across the gulf.
After the switchbacks there is a bit of a false flat, where the road straightens out, and I at least convince myself that I should be able to go fast, and am always disappointed when I can’t. So don’t be fooled! The road doesn’t flatten out yet, and keeps going up at around 5-6%. Once you’re past this straight, there is a left hairpin which briefly flattens out and allows you to pick up a little speed, and then a wider right hander. After these, you’re onto the top and final part of the climb. Here the road does flatten out – to a rather easy 3-4%, and it’s time to put in a TT effort to reach the top.
The climb finishes as you cross over the line that has been painted on the road, next to the water tank and the old gum tree. At this point, there is a little bit more hill, but the line has proven so convenient, that people doing repeat efforts or using strava will often finish at this spot. From here you can easily access many parts of the hills, and Norton Summit is the shortest and easiest Gateway to riding in the area.
If you haven’t guessed, all the images in this post came from Google Street view. I don’t have a decent camera phone, or I’d take em myself.