This ride has Italian and French cols, but I have labeled it as “French Alps” as my main target – Col de la Traversette – is in France.
As with my previous ride, I first cycled from La Thuile, Italy to Col du Petit St. Bernard (2188m) on the main road. I then descended down into France to La Rosière ski station. From here I started climbing through the ski slopes eventually reaching the old ruined fort at Col de la Traversette – 2383 metres: Le Fort de la Redoute Ruinée.
From La Rosière the road up to the fort is paved until 2000 metres. Above the Golf course it becomes a very fun, wide gravel road:
Before reaching the fort I first passed Col des Embrasures at 2303 metres.
Soon after the road arrives at the old fort at 2395 metres – just above Col de la Traversette.
Great views of the main road to Petit St. Bernard:
From Col de la Traversette, it is initially a very steep descent. I walked. View looking back up. The Fort is just behind the ski hut up high:
But after perhaps half a kilometre the road becomes ride-able. I could see a fun road up to Colle Belvedere (2589 metres) – I had climbed it the previous day from the other side – and decided to keep things simple and just rejoin the main road, recross Col du Pt. St.Bernard and call it a day.
This was a lot of fun. The unpaved climb to Col de la Traversette is very ride-able, with stunning views, and some history at the summit. Perfect.