La Croix Fry
/ 5 (and Col d'Aravis, Col de
Merdassier, Col de Plan-Bois)
Scenery: / 5
Distance: 69.8 KM
Vertical Climb; 1,602 metres
Last Climbed: May 2006
This was the last climb in the 2004 Tour
de France stage where Armstrong beat Kloden by about 1 centimeter.
It's a fantastic ride through beautifuly country and ends at a small
ski station. The route shown also includes me crossing the col
and descending a bit on the other side to climb the last part of the
Col d'Aravis - as well as another detour on a small road.
After a week of rain (and snow at altitude) the sun finally appeared. For the 3rd time in the last 3 years i decided to climb the Col de la Croix Fry (featured in Tour de France a couple of years back.
I parked in Thones and the real climb starts about a km from town. An uneven 12 kms climb averaging 7 % but with easy parts and very steep parts. With fresh snow up high and the lush green lower down the views were stunning. I am clearly still a bit away from fitness as I find parts hard going - but persevered. At the top, is the Manigod ski station. Following a little road to the right leads to the Col de la Merdassier.
On the way up I saw a sign leading along a small road to the Col de Plain-Bois (a Col of which I was unaware). So on the descent I decided to explore. What a great route. I never saw a car as I climbed this steep route winding through alpine farm country. At the top was a nice auberge so I ordered a Crepe confiture (Jam) and caught my breath. The owner told me that descending the other side of the Col was in fact a short cut back to Thones- sweet. Great Ride. Especially the extension up to Col de Plan-Bois.