Col de Pierre Carrée (Flaine)

5
Perfect Day

Perfect Day

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.

Canada Kit!

Canada Kit!

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.

Paravalanche

Paravalanche

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.

Hairpins

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.

In summer, you can go much higher on a mountain bike. Here and here are a couple of very challenging, but super fun routes.

near Col de pIerre Carrée

near Col de Pierre Carrée

Route 2,925,669 – powered by www.bikemap.net

Finally, here is a video from a few years ago of me descending this superb road:

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Happiest while cycling uphill.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Will,
    Wanted to let you & your readers know that I attempted this Col today but was turned back by workmen, it appears that the road is closed until June 30th.
    Steve

  2. Pingback: Les Grandes Platières (2480m) – 5 Col Loop above Flaine

  3. Agree it’s a great ride as not too difficult with great views over the ‘Route Blanche’. TdF did the lower half in 2009 (cote d’Areches). Had a great lunch in Les carroz on the way down. Re Steve’s comment went up the Joux Plan past ‘route baree’ signs but workmen allowed us to walk on a 0.5m wide strip of grass alongside a new section of freshly laid, steaming tarmac with our bikes on the opposite shoulder so if we stumbled they wouldn’t get stuck in the new tar!

    • Yes, the tour did perhaps the first 6 kilometres of the 21kms. Agree on the difficulty comment. It’s a similar length to some of the French giants like Ventoux, Tourmalet, Madeleine, Glandon, but maybe 1% or less steep on average, so a good confidence builder in preparation.

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