Chalet de l’Ebaudiaz

 KilometresAscent (metres)Avg GradeHairpins
Chalet de l'Ebaudiaz15.713008.3%39
Alpe d'Huez15.211507.6%21

Near Albertville, at the entrance to the Maurienne Valley, is a fabulous, little known climb up through the woods, and above the tree-line, to Chalet de l’Ebaudiaz.

The climb is slightly longer, and steeper than Alpe d’Huez and has almost double the hairpins. But unlike Alpe d’Huez – this climb is on a tiny, badly surfaced road, with absolutely no-one around.

Thirty-nine hairpins! The very start of the climb has a very promising sign. 🙂

Sign at start.  Hairpins!

Sign at start. Hairpins!

The road is paved to the summit, but it is a terrible surface. Either descend gingerly or leave the road bike at home. After the first few kilometres, past a couple of little villages, the road quality deteriorates – and gets worse as it gets higher. But it’s not really dangerous for cyclists:

Dangerous?  Lousy road surface.

Dangerous? Lousy road surface.

Much of the climb is through a nice forest and looks like this:
Through the Woods

Through the Woods

The last couple of kilometres get above the tree-line to a steep alpine meadow. On a nice day, from the autoroute far below, it is easy to see the cleared stretch high up the forested mountain. Unfortunately, it was hazy, and the views weren’t great. In fact I was lucky to finish as the rain began.

From the Chalet, my mapped route left the “paved” road and took a grass/gravel farm road to Le Prarion at 1700m. I then made a loop, all on bumpy, rocky roads, before rejoining the climb.

8.5 Very Good

If you like hairpins, quiet roads, and forests .... you'll love this climb.

  • Difficulty 8.5
  • Views 8
  • Quiet / (no traffic) 9.5
  • Fun Factor 8
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 9

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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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