Probably my favourite winter Alps climb. As long as there is no recent snow, the route is always very well cleared – and the views are fantastic.
I usually take a long-cut via the superb Col de Plan-Bois. But in winter this requires a short snow hike, and I had the road bike with me.
It’s been warm. I have frozen descending this before. But I had two completely unnecessary extra jackets in my back pack.
Above Manigod, I stopped at my favourite self-portrait location. It’s become a small tradition to stop here for a photo. Below are photos from 2010, 2009, 2008, and the big one from 2011.
After a quick detour to Col de Merdassier (see map), I descended towards La Clusaz, and then turned up for the last few kms to Col des Aravis.
It was significantly colder on some of the shaded stretches:
Still a few snow walls remaining:
Surprisingly at Col de la Croix Fry, Manigod ski-station was still open (it is linked with La Clusaz):
I love this route …. and with the big Cols still several months from opening, it provides a good climbing fix.