Col de la Croix Fry and Col des Aravis

Self Portrait
Col de la Croix Fry and Col des Aravis

The second great ride of the year.

Without a doubt, Col de la Croix Fry is my favourite winter climb near me. It was in the Tour de France last year and features one of the most beautiful hairpins I know.

The col is just under 1500 metres and stays open all year as at the summit is the little Manigod ski station.

This better west side features stunning views of the snow covered peaks of L’Etale.

For a quiet, beautiful, harder way up Col de la Croix Fry, one can first climb the lessor known Col de Plan Bois, descend and join Croix Fry at Manigod, less than half way up, and below the best parts. See here.
For quite a few years now I have stopped at the same hairpin (look for the little recycling bins) to take the EXACT same photo – over and over again. 🙂

After Croix Fry it is a short descent towards La Clusaz and a right turn at the main road then leads up to Col des Aravis. Another beautiful Col just below 1500 metres that is kept open all year.

Every year I wait for a nice sunny winter day and revisit this great route. Trust me, it’s much more fun in winter.


Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Hi Will,

    great pictures – as usual and congratulations for your #2 in 2014!
    Looking at the photos makes me feel like climbing it in winter as well, a thing which I haven’t done so far as my bikes are accustomed to hibernate until sometime end of March, early April.
    So maybe I change that habit to give it a try…keep on rolling & posting, cheers Markus

  2. I think it is a “good” climb in Summer but truly a great winter climb …. especially with L’Etale covered in snow and given how few other choices are available in winter.

  3. Pingback: The Best Cycling Climbs from Lake Annecy

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