I’d been saving this climb until Eric returned from Belgium – as I suspected it was the sort of ride he would love.
Col de Crozet is in the middle of a tiny ski station in the Jura mountains above Geneva. You can’t drive or stay there – there is a just a little cable car system up to the top from the village of Crozet.
Yet another deserted, beautiful, forest, Jura mountains road to no-where. The climb starts in Crozet itself and is a very steady grade of 7 or 8% for a little more than 12 kilometres – see the chart (aside: that little 2 km uphill stretch at km 45 was brutal – with a 16% signpost).
About half way to Col de Crozet, the paved road ends and it is a bumpy, rocky, but interesting path: It is FAR better to climb this road than to descend! 🙂
Nearing the top, the tree line ends and the the path gets very steep (I had to push a couple of times) as the Col nears. A little bit of snow and it was cold – below freezing by the look of all the iced puddles we crossed.
Despite the cold and snow, the fascinating environment (and a Col sign) meant it was time for some photos.
A dirt track continues for a couple of kms north to the Chalet du Caberet. From here on the rest of the route is perfectly paved. The winding forest road down to Col de la Faucille was just a joy to ride. And from Faucille we found the little back route to Col de la Vattay (AKA Col de Combes Blanches) and down – for details of this climb see here.
This long stretch is amazing. Perfectly surfaced, through beautiful forests and never a car – it’s like they built the road just for cyclists. And the views? At this point the fog had cleared and we had a clear look at the Alps far to the South. Photos never catch the beauty of these distant views.
From the Geneva area, this is about as good a loop as one can find – and far better than the car-filled route from Col de la Faucille in between these roads.
whoa, that looked like some hard work!
Will, you are giving me too much credit. I think that considering the state of the OFF-road (aka the size of the rocks) you are doing VERY well on your skinny hybrid 700C tires.
People seem to comment that the weather is to cold for this type of rides. But what they cannot see in the pictures is that the “cold” ones where taken as we were sweating on the climbs. And that we enjoyed the warming sun on the descends. Very good choice! I’m sure that Barry and Martin suffered more from the cold when they crossed the Faucille last August, than we did today. Likewise I remember a freezing ride up Col de la Colmbiere on July 19th. At least today we were dressed for the occasion. 🙂
Now I admire you guys for riding in those conditions. What’s with the white stuff everywhere? 🙂 Looks like a nice climb, though. Love visiting your blog and getting all inspired everytime. Thanks.
Good job guys. Your are right Eric, that August cold snap and rain really caught Barry and I out. We FROZE on the way down. Brrrrrr…. !