Col de Menthières, Col de la Faucille, and Some Snow


A scenic and challenging loop around and over the Jura mountains from Geneva.

Col de Menthières

We started in Bernex, near Geneva, and headed directly towards Bellegarde. From Bellegarde, the Col de Menthières is a great climb. Now that the little ski station is closed, this wide, well surfaced road is completely deserted.

Descending Menthières

At the top, to our surprise we found that the other way down hadn’t been plowed. Oh well, we have become experienced snow pushers. Perhaps 3 kms sinking into deep and wet snow.

Not being very smart, we decided to cut a couple of hairpins by descending through the woods. Not surprisingly, we got ourselves (and our bikes) into a little bit of trouble:

Not Good

After finally descending into the valley, it’s then a long beautiful – slightly uphill – stretch with high mountains on each side, ending with five slightly steeper kilometres before reaching the Col de la Faucille.

It’s great having a Belgium domestique. I think Eric was so excited about tomorrow’s Tour of Flanders that he carried a beer all day and presented it to me at the top of this last climb of the day. Cheers:

Col de la Faucille

My second metric century of the year, and over 2000 metres of vertical climb. Great ride and yes, I will sleep well tonite.


About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. When are you going to replace your 2008 Challenge Update with 2009? I’m curious how you are doing against your ’09 target of 100 different cols. I reckon that you must already have reached around 20.

  2. Et voilà une idée de parcours, intéressante je pense, si vous êtes à cours d’inspiration !
    Au départ de Bellegarde, faire l’ascension du belvédère des avalanches, puis prendre la route-piste forestière qui mène vers le col du merle pour rejoindre la route de la Pesse (avec détour possible pour le Col de la Sémine) puis au nord jusqu’aux Mouilles et prendre à droite pour aller à Bellecombe (route et endroit magnifique, vues sur les sommets, tranquillité…). Continuer sur le D292, puis Lajoux, descente sur Mijoux et direction au sud par Lélex en légère descente. A chézery, faire la très agréable ascension du Col de Menthières.
    Cela promet une très bonne nuit 🙂

    (également, je me demande ce que donne l’ascension du Col du Merle à partir de la D991, versant Est; au départ de Bellegarde…)

  3. Will, it helped! Stijn Devolder (QST) won his second Ronde van Vlaanderen, repeating his solo break-away just like he did when he won last year. Cheers!

    Groover : as the temperatures were decent (nothing like some of the rides we did this winter), bare legs in the snow are not too cold (feet is another story). The only trouble is that the snow has iced up and therefore it (litteraly) scratches up your skin after a while whenever you sink deeper into the stuff. Result : red skin from the cold with some minor bleeding cuts (nothing bad though). I love the crazy adventures.

    Bast : merci pour les idées. Il y a effectivement plein de belles routes à faire là haut. On essayera certainement bientôt, surtout puisque je n’ai même pas encore le Col de Merle sur ma liste de cols. Will n’arrêtes pas de me dire “Bientôt Eric, faut attendre que la neige fonde un peu”.

  4. David: Thanks, good point. A preliminary attempt at a list is now in the sidebar

    Bastien: Merci pour les idées!

    Philippe: Oui, la bière m’a donné de la puissance. 😉

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!