Col de la Croix Fry via Col de Plan Bois


This is one of my favourite winter Alps climbs.

It’s becoming an annual tradition to do this loop in Jan or Feb.

No water today as water bottle froze in first 15 minutes

 Today I joined at Manigod Icy Col de Plan Bois Col de Merdassier Col de la Croix Fry

Starting in Thones, it’s three kms slightly uphill to the start of Col de Plan Bois at Les Clefs. The climb is 6.5 steep kilometres on a very quiet road.

From the top, the other side is not ploughed for a while …. snow pushing. Then a steep down / up to Manigod to join the main road to Col de la Croix Fry. And from here a brief detour to Col de Merdassier (see map below).

A video of the ride:

Sun at the top (Merdassier):

Aravis Alps

Despite a decent forecast, it was pretty cloudy most of the way. Here’s a view I missed (pic from last year).

Col de la Croix Fry


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Beautiful Will,

    You know how to kick my motivation-lacking ass 😉
    Very brave of you to endure the cold, even in Geneva it was freezing today.

    PS : The dog misses the little bottle around the neck to make a very good domestique.

  2. Groover,

    Thanks! No the boots are solely for warmth. It can get a little scary in these temperatures …. especially the descents. Hard to explain, needs to be experienced. Despite double gloves, my fingers were so cold descending this that I had to stop after a few kilometres and spend some time warming them – ouch.

    The boots are heavy but heavenly warm ;))) (and cold feet wrecks any big snow ride).

    Eric: you are a lazy bastard 😉

  3. Hi Will,
    I love your climbing boots! I was wondering the same as Groover… did you figure a way to get cleats in those soles to use with some crank brothers pedals? Great fun with the climbing video… what kind of camera are you using for the video these days. Thanks, Donald

  4. Hywel Davies on

    Thanks for this ride Will, its a hidden gem of a climb. I did the Plan Bois in August and climbed it on 54×21.

    A very very hard climb and made the Croix Fry much more of a challenge. Looking forward to getting back out there in June this year.

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