Flaine (France) is one of our two favourite ski stations and is only about 45 minutes away. Thus, I know the road very well. It had always seemed a bit intimidating driving the route especially right from the bottom, but since I knew it was easier than Mont du Chat, now seemed a good time to try it.
Starting at the very bottom just off the autoroute (490 metres) , it is a pretty long climb (+22kms) and relatively hard averaging just under 7%. But it is a superb route that snakes up a jagged alpine setting. Although traffic is not bad, the steady trickle reminded me how charming the deserted Mont du Chat was.
Upon reaching the Col de la Pierre Carré (Col of the square rock) at 1,844 metres, there is a 3.5 km descent into the ski station of Flaine. An ugly square concrete 1960s purpose built ski resort – but great ski-ing. Descending into Flaine meant climbing back up. Only 250 metres of ascent but difficult after the legs have stiffened up.
Interestingly, there is a golf course right at the summit of the col. I had a quick peak. Very cute, but my goodness if you miss the fairway your ball falls for miles.
Total distance 6,928 kms