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).
Summit: 2,340 metres (7,680 feet)
The Climb: 38.2 kms (23.7 miles); Ascent: 2,000 metres (6,560 feet)
Back in January 2008, To help winter pass, I wrote about 5 big climbs – that I had never cycled – all above 2000 metres. Val Thorens was the 4th to be completed …. Col Agnel next year?
I used my second and final “Car Support” birthday coupon from Doreen. So another super fun day with filled water bottle hand-offs, bum pushes, enthusiastic cheering, cookies, and a lovely photographer.
The climb starts on the exit ramp of the Auto-route – or 30 seconds away in Moutiers – so we stopped at the 1st hairpin and unloaded the bike. 38 kms is an awfully long way to go uphill – but the route isn’t “too” steep and a couple of small downhills provide breaks.
Tour de France: Obviously rated Hors Categorie, this climb has appeared only once in 1994, stage 17.
With several towns along the route – there is light but fast traffic on the first half of the route. After Saint-Martin it gets much quieter and the scenery ever more savage. Can you find me in the photos below?
I rode another kilometre or so past the town sign to reach the high point at 2340 metres. Once at the top, I was thrilled to get in the car and drive down. It would have been a terrifyingly cold and long descent. Thanks again to Doreen for such a fun birthday present.