Every year the Geneva basin spends much of late autumn under low inversion clouds. Below, the world feels dank, foggy, miserable. But some of us know that the sun is only a climb away.
Col de Crozet, in the French Jura mountains, is an excellent, very quiet, unpaved road up through a small ski station. This is a perfect climb to get “above the clouds”
The unpaved road starts just above 900 metres:
Much of the climb winds up through the mountain woods, but eventually gets above the trees. Always nice views of the distant Alps. Above the clouds:
View from Col de Crozet (1485 metres) down the ski slopes:
At the Col, a short walk across a field, is an artificial lake probably used for snow making. Beautiful:
The profile above extends perhaps a kilometre above the geographic col. The high point of the route is roughly 1510 metres. From here, the road becomes paved again. In fact, this far side is one of the highest paved roads in the Jura mountains. See here for the ten highest.
It’s a fun, gentle, quiet descent for several kilometres to Col de la Faucille (1323m). Col de la Faucille, while one of the best known Jura climbs, is far from my favourite. The road can have fast traffic, with trucks. Don’t get me wrong: It’s not terrible, and quite popular among local cyclists (who perhaps don’t know the other, far quieter, paved options nearby like La Barillete, La Vattay, or La Baudichonne). Anyway, I enjoyed the fast descent.
The last time I climbed Col de Crozet, I descended via Col de Combe Blanche (Col de la Vattay). A longer, but much quieter way down. Recommended if you have the time. See here.
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Nice one, Will !
I also like this tour very much and climb to col de Crozet several times a year.
As you, I prefer to go down via the col de Combe Blanche (which I discovered thanks to your website), or La Vesancière.
There is also a very rocky track (not nice) descending on Mt Jura’s northern slope, to Lélex, from where it’s a nice ride back to Geneva via col de Menthières and col du Sac.
I climbed on Mt Salève yesterday (22 Nov), enjoying the snow-covered forest single trails and saw that another cyclist had already passed. I thought it might have been you as I remember we once met up there on a cold winter day…
thx for the message.
Ha, well done. I considered braving Le Salève yesterday, but wasn’t quiet ready for full winter. 🙂
I discovered your website some time ago and I really like it. Also seeing your reports about this climb to Col de Crozet, I relly wanted to give it a try myself: my problem: I don’t have a mountain bike. I very frequently cycle the first 5 paved kms with my road bike and it made me sad I couldn’t go further. So on the very same day as you (Nov, 14) I gave it a try with my city bike. However, I discovered that the road is really bumpy and rocky, I didn’t like it. I climbed about 3 km on this gravel road (I can’t really say, I didn’t have a bike computer or gps). Not knowing how far it is and really being annoyed of the shaking I turned around. On the way down the chain protection of my city bike broke off :P…Bottomline: I need a proper montain bike to come back and do this!