Avg Gradient: 8.9%
Metres climbed: 223
Road surface: Good
Corkscrew Road is a fairly notorious Adelaide climb. It goes up a valley taking you from Gorge Road to Montacute Road, through some rather dramatic switchbacks. To get to the climb, you’ve got to ride up (or down) Gorge Road. Corkcsrew Road is on the south side, a little way below Kangaroo Creek Reservoir. The climb starts about halfway up Corkscrew Road, as you cross a bridge where the road narrows to one lane.
From here, the first part of the climb is comparatively easy – it goes up along the side of the valley at around 7-8%. Because you’re deep in the valley, there is rarely any wind, and you could be fooled into thinking that the climb isn’t particularly difficult. As you get further up the valley though, you’ll get a view of the switchbacks.
Whilst the picture doesn’t show it particularly well, there are four switchbacks, up the side of the hill. These are steep. The average gradient through here is more than 11%, and it hits about 14-15% through some of the corners. This section is pretty alright though, because as you climb you can see the road below you, and you know that there can’t be that much more climbing to go. Once you take the final left hander, the road flattens out a little, and it wriggles around the side of the valley. If you look down you’ll get a fantastic view of the switchbacks, and wonder how and why you climbed up them.
The climb finishes at the intersection with Montacute Road.
From here, you’ve only really got two options. Turn right, and fly down the hill back into town, or turn left, and keep on climbing. If you go right, you’ll be treated to one of the best descents in Adelaide. They recently resurfaced all the corners before the TDU, and so it’s now a very fast drop. If you turn left, you’ve got a little more climbing to do, although it’s not nearly as steep, and pretty soon you’ll go past Marble Hill and into Ashton. Do this, and you’ll have a whole bunch of hills to choose from. I suggest going down Pound Road, and then up Burdetts.
There wasn’t a car reversing up the hill in front of me. Google took the photos.