Chartreuse Alps Col Hunting

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A fun 6 Col loop. The beautiful Chartreuse (Alps) Massif lies between Chambéry and Grenoble.

Starting from dowtown Chambéry, my goal was to mountain bike up into the massif through a little gap at Col du Mollard, on a forest trail/road — while visiting a bunch of Cols.

Route 2,668,071 – powered by www.bikemap.net

For quite a few road biking routes in the Chartreuse Alps see here.

I started near the Université de Savoie – who would have guess it was built on a hill? Almost immediately I was in the countryside, winding up a steep little paved road. After 6 or 7 kms the paved road ends and became a stony, gravel path.

The trails is very rocky and at times steep, so it’s hard going. Until near the first three cols it is all ride-able, but then at times is too steep and slippery to ride. It’s very peaceful, almost entirely through a fairly thick forest.

Rocky Trails

Rocky Trails

The last half kilometre to Col du Planet is very steep, and I mainly bike-pushed.

Don’t bother with the little detour I took up to Col des Fontanettes. It is completely unride-able, but being a col-hunting fool I pushed my bike up a very steep trail (too steep to even descend on bike).

After Col du Mollard, the forest ended and I found myself well inside the Chartreuse Alps, with nice views of cliff massives in every direction. The road is briefly unpaved, but I soon joined the paved road near Col de la Cluse.

Chartreuse Selfie

Chartreuse Selfie

I road up to the Col and then took another unpaved path for less than a kilometre just to visit an old friend: Col du Cucheron (don’t mistake with Col du Grand Cucheron).

The rest of the route is fully paved. I descended down to Entremont-le-Vieux and climbed up To Col du Granier. Finally, I descended 15 kilometres down and back into Chambéry.

Col du Granier

Col du Granier

A fun, quiet, 6 Col loop.

6 Cols

6 Cols

8.1 Very good
  • Views 7
  • Quiet / No Traffic 9.5
  • Difficulty 8
  • Fun Factor 8
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Happiest while cycling uphill. More enthusiastic than talented, my 2014 Challenge is to cycle 50 great rides, slowly.

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