Col de l’Arpettaz


Col de l’Arpettaz – 16.5 kms with 1,200 metres vertical climb 

A beautiful route on a tiny farm road with hairpin after hairpin.  Today was significantly warmer than the last few weeks and I was seriously sweating.  At 6 kms I saw a sign saying the road was closed and happily continued in car free bliss.  The only living things I saw after this sign were two deer racing across the road – scaring me more than I scared them. It’s a fairly hard route averaging a little under 8%.  It starts out a little easier and finishes a little harder. 

So ….. I am enjoying a picture postcard ride.  As I gain altitude, more and more snow covered Alps come into view.  At 1,200 metres I saw my first snow on the ground, but didn’t give it another thought.  At 1,300 metres I had to get off my bike briefly to walk over some snow on the road.  Hmmmm.  Then about 3.5 kms from the top, I bumped into much more snow on a stretch under tree cover.  I could see the road above was not covered so I started trudging through this stuff.  After a bit I found clear road again and started riding — feeling smug. 

 Pic Below.  I hiked pass this bit.




Then I hit another bad stretch ….. more hiking in about a foot of snow ….. half kilometre of riding … then at 1,450 metres of altitude, I had to admit defeat (the col is it 1,580 and was about 2 kms away).  If I had a mountain bike and better shoes maybe I would have continued hiking.   Grrrrr.  The road surface is a bit iffy – no big deal climbing but a bit treacherous descending on a road bike.

Still this quiet super-scenic route is a real gem worth climbing again ….. to the top next time.

 Col de l'Arpettaz


Time to turn around — below is as far as I got – the road is under a foot of snow.




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Col des Glieres

About Author

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