I am an annoying person with whom to drive through the Alps. I keep pointing up at mountains and talking about possible bike routes.
And the summit of Col du Frêne can be seen from the highway far below on the way to bigger climbs so I am always yammering on about it.
But I hadn’t climbed it in years until now. This is an absolutely lovely 3 Col loop through the Bauges Alps passing three cols. Rarely spectacular, but always very pretty …. and virtually no traffic on the entire route.
Col du Frêne along with Col du Marocaz are the only two ways to cross the impressive Combe de Savoie ridge into the Bauge Alps.
A quiet, 10 kilometre climb with plenty of sexy hairpins:
Crossing over the Col, virtually the rest of the ride is in another world of quiet, mid-altitude alpine valleys, mountains always near on both sides. A few farms, a cow or two, some small villages, that’s about all. Nice.
I have only posted one detailed climb profile, but this loop still had plenty of climb remaining – see map profile below.
The second climb is the easier side of Col du Près – the highest point on the route. It’s a long but usually easy climb. I had a head-wind, but enjoyed myself.
The descent passes some great hairpins:
For details of climbing this side of Col des Près see here
Descending the Col, one can see Mont Revard, and the sprawl from Chambèry. But instead of descending too far, I took a quiet back into the mountains.
The route heads to La Thuile where I took a quick detour to visit Lac de la Thuile:
Then just a couple more kilometres to Col du Marocaz and back over the Combe de Savoie. The side of Marocaz that I descended is a fabulous road. I saw no cars but quite a few cyclists. Crazy hairpins, a cool bridge over a gorge, and views of the really big Alps to the south.
For details of climbing this side of Marocaz see here.
All-in-all a very nice 3 Col loop.