La Croix Fry   / 5     (and Col d'Aravis, Col de Merdassier, Col de Plan-Bois)

Difficulty: / 5

Scenery:   / 5

Distance: 69.8 KM

Vertical Climb;  1,602 metres

Last Climbed:  May 2006


From 2005:

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

From 2006:

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.