Trivia: Name a climb south of Annecy with virtually the same stats as Alpe d’Huez yet double the hairpins. Oh, and with almost zero traffic. If you didn’t guess Col de l’Arpettaz, don’t worry, not too many other people seem to know about this superb climb.
I’ve put the map next to encourage you to zoom and count the hairpins. What a great road.
Markus and I started near Annecy so we could enjoy the wonderful Annecy bike path. It’s a repurposed old railway line – fantastic. Near Annecy it can be popular (busy), but after a few kilometres it’s much quieter. Relaxing riding.
It’s more than 30 kilometres along the bike path until – a couple of kms short of Ugine – we turned left, across the main department road, onto a tiny signed road soon to be called “route des montagnes.” The first couple of kilometres pass through some houses/chalets but soon it’s a quiet, steep, narrow, oft-shaded, route that has — something like 42 hairpins. Nice.
Much of the ride is through lovely forests:
Higher, the road opens up with great views of the Aravis Alps behind.
Just about every-time I bike with Markus we seem to enjoy a beer together. Exactly at the Col is a very nice auberge with a good menu ….. and Belgian Beer:
The route we descended is also very interesting. A fun descent (but I highly recommend our route direction).
Col de l’Arpettaz is a fantastic climb – and not well known. The Tourist board does a great job sign-posting all sort of climbs in Haute Savoie / Savoie ….. but not this one. Very, very light traffic. Fun hairpins, nice views, challenging, etc. Woohooo!