Le Semnoz (Crêt de Chatillon)By Will • Apr 1st, 2011 • Category: Climbs, Cycling
Le Semnoz is the mountain on the west side of Lake Annecy. Unlike the bigger mountains on the east side of the lake, it’s possibly to cycle up to the peak of Le Semnoz: Crêt de Chatillon.
There are (at least) four ways up this huge climb. For the first time, I did the west route. It joins the north route from Annecy about 7 kms from the summit – these are the two steepest ways up.
Details of North Route here. Looping back to Annecy. It’s equally good in the opposite direction.
After a few easy kms, the east side takes a steep, wide, quiet, twisting road through the forest before joining the North route. From here, it’s frankly a tough slog – but the reward at the top are stunning Alps views – as well as Lake Annecy far below.
The warm weather has sadly closed the little ski station at the top, but I was still surprised to see the south route down cleared of snow – so I decided to make a look around the massif. The south side hairpins above Col de Leschaux are fantastic – in either direction. Very quiet, and fast descent.
Not much snow up top:
I hadn’t mapped the loop back to the car so was happy not to get lost. All in all a great loop.
One of my favourite highway signs:
Here’s a photo from the other side of Lake Annecy. That is Le Semnoz over my shoulder on the right: