At its core, this blog is about Col hunting. Generally on a bike, but occasionally on cross-country skis.
The Fifth Great “Ride” of the Year
I have been cross country skiing several times the last few weeks, and although this may be cheating, I am going to include XC skiing to (and above) Col de la Ramaz to my list of great rides in 2014.
Cross country ski-ing in the mountains can be a blast. For some ideas (and a map), last year I wrote a post “Seven Cycling Climbs with Great Skate-Skiing in Winter“
If you do cross country ski up to Col de la Ramaz, take the black trail above Col de la Ramaz to Chalet Blanc – it is beautiful.
Also you will find the real geographic Col — see the sign photo above. The Col sign on the road — climbed by the Tour de France a couple of years ago — is almost a kilometre away.
The top few kilometres of Ramaz will likely be closed (they are ski slopes) until May. But for the cyclists that like to plan, here are two great road bike loops:
- Four Cols: Ramaz (north/west), Encrenaz, Joux Verte, and Joux Plane (Morzine side)
- Three Cols: Ramaz (south), Encrenaz, Joux Plane (Samöens side)
Here is the old cliff road — replaced by a tunnel a couple of years back — covered in snow. The steepest part of the climb is in the tunnel.
For a great mountain bike ride to Ramaz and high above see here.
Here are a couple more cross country skiing pics from February:
Plateau de Retord (Col de Cuvery):
Flaine Golf Course (Col de pierre Carrée):