In Search of Sun – Col de la ForclazBy Will • Feb 25th, 2014 • Category: Climbs, Cycling
Lake Annecy hidden below the clouds:
If you want to cycle around lake Annecy, here are a few tips:
1. Avoid the road beside the lake down low. Especially in summer, it can be full of traffic – all the way around. Not fun.
2. On the north and west side is a bike-only path. From Annecy itself, go beside the lake and you can’t help but bump into the path. It goes all the way to Albertville.
3. On either side of the lake are great climbs that can be included to make a great loop. See below.
The Third Great Ride of the Year
I was trying to get above the clouds. There were faint glimpses of sun and I was confident. But it would be harder than I expected.
I started in Annecy and headed south down the bike path. Lots of fit people around as usual. After reaching the end of the lake I turned east to quickly join the start of the climb to Col de la Forclaz (de Montmin) – there are quite a few Col de la Forclaz’ worth cycling in the alps.
Near the top was the first place I ever saw a Tour de France stage. Simoni, Virenque, and Moreau were first to pass me – exciting.
This is a short but steep climb. Tip: this south side is a lot more fun (through a quiet gorge), than the north side.
On the west side, from Annecy, you could also add Le Semnoz to make an ultra challenging loop – see all sides of Le Semnoz mapped here
Near the Col I finally exited the clouds:
But sadly the clouds still blocked the mountains. Here is an old photo of what was behind me in the photo above:
At the Col is usually one of the best views of Lake Annecy. The very top photo is from the parapent take-off spot, and even though it was sunny above me, the lake was completely blocked by clouds.
Here again is an old photo from a slightly different angle but the exact spot of the very top photo:
Oh well. Despite the clouds, this is a great loop around lake Annecy – that is often open even in deep winter. But wait for a sunny day.