One of my regular and favourite winter climbs. Col de Pierre Carrée (1844 metres) is the highest paved road open 12 months a year in Haute Savoie (I think) – giving access to Flaine Ski Station.
Currently it is very warm, no need for too many layers.
At 21 kilometres, and roughly 1,350 metres ascent, this is a big climb, but not ridiculously steep. It’s roughly 1% less steep on average than more famous giants that are of a similar length (eg. Tourmalet, Ventoux, Glandon, Madeleine, etc). See profile above.
After Les Carroz, half way up, it’s a very quiet road. Some long straight stretches, but plenty of scenic hairpins as well. And when the ski season is over, it is near deserted as Flaine shuts down – even in summer.
At the summit, is Flaine Golf Course – with Cross Country Ski Trails in winter – see here.
I worked quite hard trying to beat my best time to the top – missed by 2 minutes, damn head-wind 😉 . I then just took my time descending while taking some photos. But, as the profile above shows, you can go over the top and head down to Flaine (a dead-end) for a scenic little climb back.
Finally, here is a video from a few years ago of me descending this superb road: