I’ve dreamed of doing this forever. Climb Col du Tourmalet, the most famous pass in the Pyrenées and then go much higher on an unpaved path to the towering Pic du Midi de Bigorre.
Les Arcs is one of our favourite French high Alps ski stations. The high point is Aguille Rouge at over 3200 metres. I am terrified the few times I have skied down …. but always thought it might be a great cycling goal.
I thought it might be possible to mountain bike into the slopes above Les Arcs via a different valley on little farm tracks. Maybe.
Mountain biking above Courchevel: Three high altitude Cols and the stunning Vallon des Avals
Part of my 2011 Challenge was to ride above 3000 metres by bike for the first time. Injury delayed this goal, but I hadn’t forgotten.
A few weeks ago while cycling Col de la Madeleine and Lachat I could see into the next valley and noticed some amazing hairpins up high. I vowed to take a closer look.
My plan was to use my tired legs to steadily climb the north side of Bonette, descend the south side, and then find an “interesting” way to return.
I’ve dreamed of doing this gigantic climb for a long time. With 1900 metres of ascent it’s easily the biggest single un-interrupted climb I have done in France.
A scenic, very quiet route – including a long stretch of trails – in the Bauges Alps. Five Cols (although, admittedly I descended to two of them).