Alpe d’Huez, Oulles, and Col d’Ornon

10

A beautiful April day – there may still be skiing at Alpe d’Huez – but the cycling wasn’t bad either.

Alpe d'Huez

Not fast, but my personal best climbing Alpe d’Huez. I beat my last Marmotte

ascension by more than 20 minutes – more a sign of how much I was bonking that day than any speed today. 🙂

The perfectly surfaced and very wide road was very quiet. A few cyclists – as usual at least half of them Dutch.

The early hairpins are the toughest:

Alpe d'Huez

After descending the Alpe, I went to see if the little road to Oulles was open. It was, and what a treat! This little known gem-of-a-climb starts just few couple of kilometres from Bourg d’Oisans.

Oulles

Oulles is the commune with the lowest population (12!) in the Isère Department. 8 kilometres cut into the edge of a steep gorge up to a little perched village. It’s a well surfaced road, with hairpins galore. And quiet: I saw no cars on the ascent or the descent.

It’s quite steep, and I was slow and April-tired, but thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Lower Hairpins:

Oulles

Upper section:

Oulles

Village at snow line:
Oulles

Hairpins galore:
Oulles

Finally, after descending Oulles, I turned up to (slowly) visit Col d’Ornon. It’s a nice easyish climb … good testing ground for cyclostourists a little imtimidated by Alpe d’Huez.

A great route — and if you take one thing from this post: Go and cycle Oulles!

Share.

About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill.

10 Comments

  1. Bonjour,

    super images comme toujours,
    j’ai fait la montée d’oulles et du col d’ornon le 13 avril, (it’s funny to have the same idea) !
    par contre je n’ai pas rajouté l’alpe d’huez, ca aurait fait trop pour moi !

  2. Pingback: My Top Ten Routes / Photos for 2013 : Cycling Challenge

  3. Pingback: Beyond Alpe d’Huez: The Best Cycling Climbs from Bourg d’Oisans

    • It depends on the recent weather. Both roads are kept open all year because of the skiing. If it hasn’t snowed recently, a sunny day in March can be great. (bring warm clothes for descent).

  4. Thanks for another great tip Will! I can’t understand why the climb to Oulles is so little ridden. It’s beautiful, challenging and practically traffic-free. The nice people in the cafe at the top deserve more visitors!

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!