It was overcast all day in Geneva – on the other side of the mountains. A huge cloud wall was on top of the Juras. I was in a little sunny micro climate valley.
One of the longest and biggest climbs in France. Val Thorens is the highest resort in the world famous Trois Vallées ski area (Courchevel, Méribel, etc).
A lessor known but challenging climb south of Chambery.
Relentless and very steep
It’s tough to say much about Alpe d’huez that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. But I will say that October is a fantastic time.
Last year Le Cycle magazine called Mont du Chat possibly the toughest climb in France …. for me it’s far too short for that honour, but it’s hard work.
PS – cyclists should check before every ride that their tires are in good condition.
It was riding through the vineyards and quiet countryside west of Geneva that first got me passionate about cycling a few years back (long before it ever occurred to me to cycle up an Alp). 🙂
I had never done the east side of Col de la Croix de Fer, in part because the route includes 4 tunnels in the middle – and I hate tunnels.
Another great climb up to an Alpine hydro-electric dam/lake.
26.6 kilometres and 1680 metres (5500 feet) of ascent – this is a gigantic and beautiful ride well worth the visit.
Wow – this is a big climb.
There is a little known, much harder, alternate north route up Col de la Colombière via Romme.