When the Cross Country Skiing conditions deteriorate down low in the Vallée de Haute-Giffre, the authorities clear the road up to Col de Joux Plane to facilitate Cross Country Skiing at the summit.
Spring is here, and the road was dry all the way to the summit. With tired legs, I took my time, and enjoyed the view. I had a hybrid, as there can sometimes be ice in the shady curves up higher, but not today.
To be clear, the Morzine side of Joux Plane is closed – likely until May – it’s currently a downhill ski slope.
There is a restaurant at the summit as well as a little hut that rents Cross Country Skis. There are a few short loops, including some on the little Lac de Joux Plane. But take the longer red track to La Bourgeoise that heads up to the croix de Mapellet and an incredible view of the Mont Blanc Massif.
This is my favourite time of year to climb Col de Joux Plane. Snow everywhere but clear roads. And renting Cross Country Ski at the summit just adds to the fun. Highly recommended.
For more great cycling climbs with cross country skiing at the summit – see here.
Wow! I’d have killed for weather like yours, but it was today or never. From 5km onwards you couldn’t see more than 20 metres, until it cleared a bit 100 metres from the summit. Still, a col’s a col, and it was an excellent experience. It felt much tougher than La Barillette, even though the stats look similar.
It’s a shame about the weather. You were pretty brave to climb this yesterday.
I think what makes Joux Plane so hard is that is is very irregular. The steepness constantly changes so it often feels harder than one might expect looking at the stats.