Col de Chérel


The Climb: 15.9 kms (9.9 miles); Ascent: 1,030 metres (3,380 feet)

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cherel    cherel    Cherel - remote beauty

Last day before a couple of weeks in Canada. The cold spell continues but the sun has finally returned.

I road the Annecy cycling path to the end of Lake Annecy to get to the start of this great climb. I had trouble finding it and accidentally climbed a few kms up a small dead-end road.
But finally I figured out where its started. 14 kms and over 1,000 metres of vertical on an old Forestry road in an undeveloped protected-status valley. The last 7 kms is on gravel – climbing steep bits on gravel is hard! Only 3 kms into the ride and the route is blocked to cars. Fantastic. Most of the climb is next to a nice, noisy river -to keep me company – as I didn’t see a living thing the whole ride.

Col de Cherel

Col de Cherel


About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill. More enthusiastic than talented, my 2014 Challenge is to cycle 50 great rides, slowly.


  1. Pingback: Cycling Challenge » Cycling » Top 5 Cycling Climbs — Lake Annecy

  2. Thanks for posting your Annecy rides. I too have a climbing gene in me (despite my 6’7″ height and 245 lbs heft) and loved Annecy so much I bought an apartment there!

    I always wondered what was at the top of this one. I found the road accidently when I rode back into Dousard (I think?) and found the entrance to a national (or regional park). I gave up when the road got too rocky as I was on my road bike.

    One other col that’s worth a ride is col de Tamie. It’s easy to tack on to your ride from Thones via col de marais. You continue up the 2007 TdF route through Favrrege (never will get these towns right) straight up to the col which is near an Abbey where they make exceptional cheese. It’s an easy climb, but very scenic and has very little traffic, almost as if it were paved just for cyclists. From the col de Tamie you can drop down into Albertville for further adventures up the col de Roseland or Madeleine.

    Love your site. I check in everytime I get a Jones for the Alps and need a healthy distraction. Inspiration to get on the trainer when I get home from work.

    Keep it up.



  3. Hi Stuard

    thanks for your kind message.

    6′ 7″ !!! Wow. It takes extra courage to climb at that size.

    Yes, for Cherel, you need a mountain bike to get to the top; But as you’ve seen, it becomes a regional park and thus there are no cars- a very pleasant ride. I am pretty sure it could be made a loop, although it’s hrd to see on any map a road descending the other side – may need to explore :)

    Thanks for the comment on Tamié. I will definitely add it next time I am around that area.

    Cheers and congrats on buying a place in such a perfect location

  4. Hi folks!

    Funny too learn that you had at last found de Col de Cherel. I found it by coincident many years ago while I was on my racing bike. I came back next day with my mountainbike an rode it up like in a dream. The noisy river or very long waterfall you talk about is called the ‘Ire’ and the valley you climb in is thus called: la combe d’Ire.
    As I spent many hollidays in Saint Jorioz two traditions had come into my life: once climbing Semnoz, but then from Leschaux (I think more interesting than the northern variant) and the Combe d’ Ire! (last time in 2004 together with my wife).
    Unfortunatly I do not have the time to practice on he bike a lot. But I try to keep up the shape to be able to bild up somedays again.
    I myself live in te Maastricht region (where the Amstel-Gold race is held) in the deep south of the Netherlands.



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