The 7 Peaks Domestique Series

What could be better than riding some of the best roads in the country with a great bunch of people?
Join us and we’ll get you through each of the 7 Peaks.

Quick links

Here at Hells 500 and The Climbing Cyclist we’re all about the adventure of cycling. Sure, we might do the odd crazy ride from time to time, but underlying it all is a desire to ride nice roads, tackle great climbs, challenge ourselves and have fun in the process.

And what better way to achieve these goals than by tackling some of the biggest and best cycling climbs in the country.

Over the next five months we’ll be running a series of group rides to help cyclists of all abilities conquer the Victorian Alps and complete Tourism North East’s 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge.

On paper, the challenge is simple: conquer Victoria’s seven biggest alpine peaks before the end of March. But in reality it’s never that easy. You mightn’t be familiar with the climbs, you might be reluctant to ride on your own, or maybe you think you’re not strong enough to get over the climbs. That’s where we come in.

If you’re committed to completing the climbs, we’re committed to helping you. We’ll be like a personal tour-guide, coach and motivational speaker, all in one. We’ve ridden all the climbs and we’ve got plenty of experience when it comes to long rides in the mountains.

We’ll let you know what to expect of the climbs, offer you climbing-related advice, encourage you to continue when you’re suffering and, ultimately, help you get through the climbs in one piece.

We’ll have more information in the coming days and weeks but until then, check out some of the questions and answers below.

Andy van Bergen & Matt de Neef

Hells 500: We'll get you there.
Hells 500: we’ll get you there.

Post-series party

It’s been a busy few months of planning, travelling, riding, taking photos, writing articles and more, and now it’s time to unwind. Join us on Sunday March 3 for a post-series get-together where we’ll have a few beverages, something to eat and a good-old chat about the series. It’s been a lot of fun from our end, and we hope you can join us for the finale!

The function will be at The Shadow Electric at the Abbotsfield Convent between noon and 2pm. If you’re coming along, please let us know either by joining the Facebook event page or by sending us an email. It’s important we’ve got a good idea of numbers so we can pass the information on to the venue. We hope to see you there!


Ride reports

For every ride in the 7 Peaks Domestique Series there will be a write-up, including photos, on The Climbing Cyclist. Follow the links below to catch up on the series so far:

Mt. Baw Baw video

When we headed out to Mt. Baw Baw on November 25 we were lucky enough to have Matt and Wes from Steamfish Creative Media/Cycling-Secrets there to film proceedings. After much hard work in the editing suite they’ve published a fantastic 5-minute video that really captures the mood of the Mt. Baw Baw climb and the 7 Peaks Domestique Series in general.

Check it out!

Ride dates

The remaining rides in the 7 Peaks Domestique Series will be taking place on the dates listed below. Further details, including information about the climbs themselves, will be available in the coming weeks.

There is a separate Facebook event page for each ride in the 7 Peaks Domestique series. To sign up to a ride, follow the link to the relevant Facebook event page and click ‘Join’. If you’re not on Facebook, send us an email letting us know which rides you’ll be attending, so we’ve got an idea of numbers.

Sunday March 10

Climb: Mt. Hotham (3 Peaks Challenge)
Meeting point: N/A
Meeting time: N/A

Climbs of Mt. Hotham completed during the 3 Peaks Challenge will count towards the 7 Peaks Domestique Series. Just be sure to bring your passport with you and be advised that while Hells 500/The Climbing Cyclist riders will be there on the day, this is a self-guided climb.

To let us know you’ll be completing the Mt. Hotham climb as part of 3 Peaks, join the Facebook event page here.

Saturday March 16

Climb: Mt. Buller (Scody High Country Challenge)
Meeting point: N/A
Meeting time: N/A

Climbs of Mt. Buller completed during the Scody High Country Challenge will count towards the 7 Peaks Domestique Series. Just be sure to bring your passport with you. Hells 500/The Climbing Cyclist riders might be there on the day, but be advised: this is a self-guided climb.

To let us know you’ll be completing the Mt. Buller climb as part of the Scody High Country Challenge, join the Facebook event page here.

Prizes and rewards

The good folks at Winners Nutrition and Cycling Express are officially supporting the 7 Peaks Domestique Series and will be providing some great prizes and rewards. Winners are supplying nutritional advice and will have giveaways for you at each of the climbs. They are also contributing to the rewards pack you will receive when you complete all 7 climbs with us.

Cycling Express are also contributing to the rewards pack … but that’s not all.

Cycling Express will also be supplying a major prize for one lucky rider — a Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset. Entering the competition is simple: complete one climb with us and you’ll get one ticket in the draw. Complete two climbs with us and you get two tickets … and so on. The more climbs you do with us, the better your chance of winning!

Questions and Answers

What are the 7 Peaks?

Click on the links above to see detailed information about each of the climbs.

Why should I take part?

Well, apart from getting the opportunity to ride some of the best mountains in the country with a friendly bunch of guys and girls, there are a range of rewards on offer. There will be prizes awarded through the official  7 Peaks competition and there will also be a number of rewards available for riders that complete all seven climbs with us. We’ll also be creating an honour board for each ride we do and for the ride series overall. Stay posted for further details.

The upper reaches of Mt. Hotham.
The upper reaches of Mt. Hotham.

These rides are only for strong riders, right?

No. As long as you’re committed to completing the climb, we’d be delighted to have you there. It might be your first mountain climb or your hundred-and-first — either way, we’ll help you get through it.

Our rides will feature cyclists of different abilities and we’ll be catering to everyone’s needs. If you’re just looking to get through the climbs in one piece, we’ll be there to help you do just that. On the other hand, if you’ve come along to climb mountains as fast as you can, we’ll have a group for that purpose too.

But what happens if I’m slower than everyone else?

Simple: if you commit to riding a climb with us, we’ll make sure you don’t get left behind.

Is this another boys-only ride?

No. But it’s true: rides like these can tend to become a bit of a blokey smashfest. Not this time. Joining the team will be a number of female cyclists who took on, and conquered the 7 Peaks last year. They will be there to coach and encourage you along the way, and to provide any advice needed. If you’re worried about being too slow, don’t: no-one gets left behind.

I’ve only done a few climbs before. Will I make it up Mountain X?

Some of the climbs are certainly tough, but if you’ve got the motivation and you’ve done a bit of training, they should be fine. If you send us an email with information about how much climbing you’ve done, we’ll let you know how we reckon you might go.

I’d like to come along. How do I enter the event?

To officially compete in the Alpine Ascent Challenge and have a chance of winning prizes, you’ll need to get a 7 Peaks passport. Go here to sign up for free. Your passport will be mailed to you.

To come along to one of our organised rides, just let us know that you’ll be there. RSVPing on the relevant Facebook page is your best bet, but email is fine too.

Can I come along for just a couple of the rides?

Sure. We understand that not everyone has the time or motivation to complete all 7 Peaks and that’s fine — please feel free to tag along on as many of the rides as you can. That said, Hells 500/The Climbing Cyclist rewards pack will only be available to riders that complete all 7 Peaks with us.

What if I can’t make it on the day you’re climbing Mountain X?

We will be holding several rides for each of the seven climbs (see details above). So, if you can’t make it to one ride, hopefully you can make it to another.

How much does it cost?

It’s totally free. You’ll need to pay for transport and accommodation yourself (for the climbs that are further afield), but it won’t cost you anything to come along on our rides. If you do enjoy yourself and find our support worthwhile, feel free to make a donation to Ride Hard to Breathe Easy instead.

I’ve got a question that’s not listed here. What do I do?

Send us an email and we’ll get back to you in a timely fashion.

No-one gets left behind.
No-one gets left behind.

26 Replies to “The 7 Peaks Domestique Series”

  1. What happens when you mix Tranquillity with Hell, you get the 7 Peaks Domestique Series and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Thanks to all involved for making it such a great summer of cycling in the Victorian Alps.

    And the best kept secret of all is that if you want the most delicious home made muesli slice, you have to ride up a mountain to find it. (That’s why Triathletes don’t get to eat it, because they’re all on Beach Road !!!)

    Heel erg bedankt

  2. What a fantastic coverage in film, some wonderful scenery, the joy of all who take up the challenge to ride to greater heights. Climb every mountain!!

  3. Hi Matt,

    Appreciate that this years events are almost done and dusted i was wondering if you are looking to continue with the challenge next year as I’d love to try and do some of the climbs you have on the list.

    Thanks for providing a great site – one of the main reasons for me taking on 3 Peaks for the first time this year.

    1. Good question Matt. I’m not sure if we’ll go ahead with the rides again next season, but I’m sure if you ask me a in a few months time I’ll say “yep, for sure!”. 😉

  4. I’d love to do the rides between Xmas and NY. But I’m Sydney based.

    Anyone from Sydney expressed an interest?

    Can you recommend the best town to stay in for the 4 rides?


    1. Hi Mike, we’ve had a couple express interest, yeah. Your best bet for accommodation is Bright or somewhere similar. Porepunkah is quite nice, particularly if you like camping. 🙂

      1. I go to a Bright training camp that uses the cabins at the Porepunkah Pines tourist park. Cheap, comfortable, accessible, and they’re used to cyclists.

        1. Also the Cycle Inn (aka Bright Oriental Hotel) is a hotel in the centre of Bright, run by cyclists, for cyclists. I just stayed there for about the 4th time for some training.
          Bagged Mt Hotham by the way…first stamp in the passport 🙂

  5. Well done Matt & Andy …this is a great initiative to get more people climbing these iconic slopes, and I’m really looking forward to participating! It’s a pity I’m in Europe in late Dec and also doing the ACE250, because I won’t bag all seven as part of the “official” domestique series.

    There does seem to be a little imbalance… five climbs of Mt Buller but only one of Dinner Plain?

    1. Thanks Josh,

      We’re talking about the option of having an open final weekend (30/31st March) where you can go out on your own (using all the skills we taught you!) and bag any missing climbs – but still have them count with out little challenge..

      And in regards to the ACE? Respect.

      1. That’s a great idea … would solve the “missing ride” problem that I suspect quite a few of us might otherwise have.

        I would be looking at staying in Bright, doing the ACE250 course in reverse to bag both Falls Creek and Dinner Plain in one go.

  6. The 7 peaks website says says under “Ride details” that the distance is 6km. But under ride dates on this page, it says the ride will start at Noojee or Tanjil Bren (which would be approx. 48km and 16km respectively. I assume 6km is the official distance for 7 peaks, is that right?

    1. Hi Gavin: Yep, you’re right. The main climb is 6km long. Actually, it’s about 6.8km. And, if you’re being totally accurate, it’s more like 12.5km long just that the first part is far less steep than the last 6.8km and no-one seems to count it. Details here:

      There’s no real place to park at the base of the steep section. In fact, Tanjil Bren’s probably the closest place with a decent-sized carpark. The ride from Noojee is awesome though. See here:


    2. …plus if you ride from Tanjil Bren you get a nice warm up – essential to tick over the legs before the fun begins at the old gatehouse location!

    3. Just found out Baw Baw is the same day as the first weekend of the Great Victorian Bike Ride, which I have promised to go on with my 12 year old daughter this year.

  7. Mt Baw Baw for my birthday – hurrah!
    Also, when exactly do 7 peaks entries close, and does the time frame include the Scody High Country Challenge (Mt Buller) on 16th March?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *