A few days ago I posted a video by Gravel Cyclist and my own little tip for descending on gravel. Well today GCN published a video about climbing on gravel with the absolute cyclecross legend Jeremy Powers.
Personally, I think the tip regarding proper gearing choice is the most helpful. I wouldn't be able to climb a lot of the local paths with gearing as high as Powers's in the video.
Too high a lowest gear equals too much torque on the tyre equals a bigger chance of the back wheel losing traction and spinning out under the rider. The more loose/wet the ground, the more crucial it is not to lose traction in order to maintain a consistent cadence and conserve momentum while going uphill.
My local forests feature many a nice climb with gradients between 9%–20%. I run a 2× setup with 36/46 chainrings up front and an 11-speed 11–40 cassette in the back. This gives me a nice easy smallest gear with a gear ratio of
0.9 which has helped me get up all but the steepest inclinces on loose forest ground with my 700×40c tyres.