Cirque de Troumouse and Lac des GloriettesBy Will • Sep 7th, 2012 • Category: Climbs, Cycling, Favorites, pyrénées
For an overview map and details on every route I have cycled in the Pyrenées see here.
Note, this post is just for the second half of the mapped route above. I cycled them together but split up the post due to photo overload. Details on Port de Boucharo are here (fantastic climb).
Starting in Luz-saint-saveur, the first 10 kilometres are not steep, but scenic enough. The road can have a little traffic as tourists flock to see Cirque de Gavarnie – especially in summer. But at Gèdre it’s a left turn to Troumouse and things get noticeably quieter.
While I loved the climb to Boucharo, the route to Cirque de Troumouse just feels a little more off the beaten path. Smaller road, fewer tourists, no ski station, fewer cyclists. My kind of place.
Even better, with 8 kms to go, there is a little toll booth for motor vehicules …. a sure fire strategy to reduce traffic higher up.
The first 9 or so kms after Gèdre are nice, relatively straight, but no huge deal. But after the toll, it gets fun. Two long sections – before and after a very scenic restaurant at 1800 metres — with hairpins everywhere.
I was tired after a long day, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the views, the huge mountains, the hairpins, the cows, the empty roads.
At the top, there was no altitude/place/col sign (booo), but there were some more cows:
I descended down to the restaurant for some much needed calories and fluids. I had scouted out one final detour. A little below the toll booth at a 1400+ metres is a turn off to a high altitude dam … I could see the dam on the way up. only 2+ (steep) kilometres and I was on the dam looking at Lac de Gloriettes.
Beautiful. I crossed the dam and briefly followed some hiking trails beside the lake. A good spot for photos, but a little bumpy for cycling.
Readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of rides up to
alpine pyrenéen dams/lakes – see here. And this one didn’t disappoint. Well worth the detour, even with very tired legs.