Col de Chavan, Col de la Ramaz, and Col de CordonBy Will • Nov 14th, 2010 • Category: Climbs, Cycling
A mid-November heat wave meant we decided to get up high. A challenging but really fun three Col loop, with two of the Cols not really designed for bikes.
Our first goal was to cycle up Col de la Ramaz. We’d watched the Tour de France here in July and there is still plenty of Tour graffiti on the road. But it’s quieter and prettier with snow.
The climb profile is just for Col de la Ramaz – which is do-able with a road bike. Note, the other two Cols are not paved and often extremely steep.
View from Col de la Ramaz:
Descending from Ramaz for little more than a km, we took a gravel farm road that heads up to Col de Chavan. It’s not that much more than a couple of kms to the top – but occasionally very steep and at times quite a bit of snow. We had no idea if we’d be able to reach the top, but we were determined to try.
I’ve marked the Col on the photo below, taken just before the turn off onto the farm road.
The “road” ends at a farm chalet maybe 100 metres of ascent below the Col. So we decided to carry our bikes to the top:
My “theory” is that I can count a Col on my list as long as my bike gets there somehow.
Next, we descended Chavan and retraced our tracks part way down Ramaz below the new tunnel.
As the map shows there is a turn of to another little road that quickly becomes gravel. A fantastic trail through and then above a forest – and again, occasionally VERY steep.
We then followed a signed turn-off towards Col de Cordon. We could get close to the Col but the last 100 metres of ascent were too crazy to carry the bikes so we
just hiked up. I guess it doesn’t count on my cycling list ;( . There looked like a couple of other roads to explore in this area – maybe next year.
After Cordon it was mainly downhill back to the car following some pretty fantastic roads. Gravel up high and then paved for the last 10 kms or so.
With the perfect November weather and a little snow around, this was a pretty amazing route.