Col des Annes & Col de la Colombière


Cyclo-tourists coming to the Alps understandably flock to the Route des Grandes Alpes to do the famous Tour de France climbs.

But there are countless lessor known climbs that are as beautiful, much quieter, and often very challenging.

Col des Annes Col de Borneronde Descending Col des Annes Ouch!  Electric Shock

Col des Annes begins just off the Route des Grandes Alpes near Le Grand Bornand. I first saw this road while skiing in Le Grand Bornand – I made a mental note to return with a bike.

Col des Annes

It climbs through beautiful alpine pastures and is steep – look at the grade chart. I’d estimate the last 300 yards averages 15%. After struggling to the top – and shocking myself on the electric fence by the Col sign (!!) – I took a quick detour on the path below to Col de Borneronde (see map).

You can cycle up to Col des Annes with a road bike. But the other side to Reposoir is a steep hiking trail. I pushed/carried most of the way.

The descent along the trail was hard work, but beautiful. Well worth the adventure.

Carrying bike down Col des Annes

After passing the Chartreuse Abbey, I emerged in Reposoir and joined the main road to do the top half of Col de la Colombière. Always beautiful, always hard work, and always, always into the wind! 😉

A Reblochon Cow Col de la Colombiere Chartreuse de Reposoir View from top of Colombiere

Col de la Colombiere will again be in the Tour de France in 2009. But will take the super difficult route via Col de Romme – see here for details

Col de la Colombiere


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Looking at the profile and knowing what Col de la Colombière is like in reality, I must say that Col des Annes looks pretty impressive! Good job!

  2. Pingback: Col des Annes (plus three more) : Cycling Challenge

  3. Hi Will! One question: I note that it is it possible to go to Col des Annes with the road bike. Is it also the case for Col de Borneronde? Kind regards,

  4. Hi Nicholas,

    No, it’s a good quality gravel farm road to Borneronde – which then continues into the mounatins becoming very steep (too steep to cycle). Fine on my hybrid to Borneronde, but no good on a road bike

    You can see the road to Borneronde in the big photo above of the Col des Annes sign


  5. Pingback: Col des Annes – Steep and Quiet plus Col de la Colombière : Cycling Challenge

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