Monday, October 24, 2011

Escobero: El 'Mortirolo' Colombiano

Loma del Escobero is regarded as Colombia's Mortirolo. The climb profiles are almost identical: Escobero ascends 930 meters over 9.6km (an average gradient of 9.7%) while Mortirolo ascends 1300 meters over 12.4km (a 10.5% average gradient). See below for the official climb profiles of each. 

Escobero felt a lot harder today than Mortirolo did back in August. Perhaps because most of the gradients in Colombia are 5-7%. Rarely do the slopes reach into the double digits here. 

Escobero begins near the Las Vegas highway (runs north-south through Medellin) and travels east up to Las Palmas. The first kilometer or so is fairly gentle. Its only once you leave the shopping area that the real work begins. The road shoots skyward at 15% and barely alters its trajectory. Its just a few limited sections that bring the average gradient down to 9.7%. There are many sustained sections of 16% and one at 19%. Basically, think of Escobero as an hour of knee-grinding. Oh, and bring your triple. 

You'll see in the pictures below that Escobero even looks a lot like Mortirolo. (Click here for my Mortirolo blog post). Escobero is often climbed in the Vuelta a Colombia. I just wish there was a sign or something to celebrate Escobero's summit. 


  1. Sounds fun and it looks like a nice climb for hill repeats. 5x Escobero with each repeat faster then the one before. Let me know how it goes.

  2. hi, i'm one of the bloggers of altimetrias de colombia. i'll live in medellin next year and i would like to get in contact with you. mi email is where can i write you



  3. OK 1 week back in Medellin and somewhat naively was persuaded to give it a go. Got there though, very slowly but without stopping on a 39/28. It was hard but I felt ok except a bit dizzy at the top although I'm not yet altitude adjusted - thanks for this blog - I will give it some mention in mine. Saw your Strava time which was so much better than mine, then I'm 63!cheers Duncan.

    1. Thats a great effort, Alan. Escobero is damn hard. The only climb I found harder than Escobero is Las Balsos in Pablado. Its about 3km at ~15% on a very narrow and busy road. I'm very envious of your return trip to Medellin!!