Col Hunting Near Lac d’Aiguebelette

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The goal was to find some new Cols – and quiet, scenic roads. Mission accomplished.

Le Collet

Lac d’Aiguebelette is a scenic little lake just the other side of a mountain west of Chambéry. Starting from the lake, the route immediately joins a tiny farm road and heads up.

I had never done the first five cols. And while they are all small, they all feel like real climbs. Plenty of hairpins and views. It’s a beautiful loop through very quiet, scenic French countryside.

Col du Blanchet, Col de la Crusille, Col de la Lattaz, Col du Mont Tournier, and Le Collet are all along a smaller mountain ridge just to the west of the giant climb up Mont du Chat.

Col Hunting near Aiguebelette

On the edge of the Alps, all these climbs were technically in the Jura mountain range.

I’ve climbed Col de l’Epine a couple of times before. It can be ridden on another great loop with Col du Chat or Mont du Chat.

It’s not the hardest climb, but has plenty of nice cliff views:

The road was closed:

Col de l'Epine is closed?

And much higher I saw why:

Higher part of Col de l'Epine

But perseverance was rewarded with a great old-fashioned Col sign:

Col de l'Epine

Four small new Cols, plus one medium Col just about equaled one giant climb. An excellent loop.

There is another Col de l’Epine between Annecy and Albertville worth climbing – details here.

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

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