Col de la Colombière (both sides) and Col de Romme


A beautiful French holiday Monday seemed a perfect time to climb probably the nearest “famous” climb to me.

Col de la Colombière has become a Tour regular, including last year and again this summer.

We watched near the top last summer (photo by my friend Katy):

Contador and the Brothers Schleck

The classic north side starts in Scionzier by climbing through the woods, it flattens out at Reposoir and then gets steadily more difficult with a long stretch at 12% near the top. Usually there is a nasty head wind – but today was pleasantly calm.

I descended over the top and climbed the easier south side starting from Le Grand Bornand. It’s a fun, not too technical descent.

After a quick bite to eat, I climbed back up to the Col. Great hairpins for the last couple of kms.

Then for the first time, after descending to Reposoir, I returned to the start via the easy side of Col de Romme descending the super steep side.

A pretty big ride that was always either climbing or descending – no flat stretches.

The other side of Col de Romme is brutally steep – and appeared in the Tour for the first time in 2009 – details here.

8.0 Awesome

The closest "famous" climb to me. Always enjoyable.

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  • Difficulty 8
  • Quiet / No Traffic 8
  • Fun Factor 8
  • User Ratings (14 Votes) 3.8

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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Hi Will
    Are these routes feasible in early October? I was hoping to do D’huez but my flights from Liverpool to Grenoble only run in winter whereas Geneva is year round flights. I want to do a “famous” climb or two ideally.

  2. Hi John,

    Usually Colombiere would be open in early October – but one never knows with the snow.

    I did Alpe d’Huez and even Galibier once on beautiful October days – but another year there was snow.

    But usually should be ok for Colombiere – but no guarantees. And bring warm clothes for descent.

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  11. Hi will,went up the Romme and the Colombiere and then up the other side the next day also went up the Col du Joly the following day,7/10/2016-10/10/2016 sun was shining all 4 days ,just rap up for the decent it was -1 at the top of the Joly ,has you have said in the past what a wonderful quiet climb. When we started up the Joly we thought easy and then bang! quite steep,did not see any body else on a bike.When we got to top looked forward to a coffee but the bar was closed so might be worth checking opening hours,have a good one and keep up the great web site,Mr Tubbs and Bob happiest when going down hill!(well after that any way!)

  12. I wasn’t sure if the weather was going to be kind, but I got a cracking day taking off from Scionzier. What a ride and you were spot on about the last 3km’s. This mountain is far harder than the stats read, but nonetheless a really good challenge and I will definitely be back. Only a 30 minute drive from Geneva, and doing this in early October I didn’t see one other cyclist on the road. Stopped on the decent back in Le Reposoir for some lunch, which was great. Long sweeping bends for the decent, but would be a bit more careful in the summer if there was more traffic. A tough ride but the rewards of the views are incredible. Thanks for the advice.

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