Almost 2,000 metres vertical, lots of hairpins, on near-deserted roads. Fun.
I started in Les Plaines, 4 kilometres into the profile at right, skipping the flat part. It’s a big, hairpin-filled, quiet road until Notre-Dame-du-Pré (1270 metres) — climbing out of the narrow main valley. The road gets smaller, and quieter above town. At 1835 metres the paved road just ends. But this is still a big, worthwhile, road-bike climb.
Details of the even better south side here.
But I had my mountain bike so I could keep going higher. Immediately after the paved road ends, the gravel/grass road exits the woods and gets above the tree line, into wide-open, steep, alpine pastures. A very fun road.
Mont Jovet was high above, and I wasn’t exactly certain of my road. And in fact, it just ends perhaps a kilometre below Col du Jovet. But there was a hiking trail, so I kept going, often needing to push the bike.
From Col du Jovet (2,404 metres), it was clear that I would have to carry/push my bike to get up to the summit of Mont Jovet, so I decided to skip this. Instead, I crossed the Col and descended to the Refuge du Mont Jovet (2,350 metres). The views are even better on this side.
The descent is a fabulous road. The top half is not paved. Higher up the views are wonderful.
Lower, at 1735 metres, I passed Col du Parchit, still on unpaved roads. The bottom half is a completely deserted, crazy paved road that I doubt gets ever much sunlight – maybe a good climb in a heat wave?. A very fun descent.
This is a great loop, that is so quiet. And it was clear from the views that there are some interesting options from the south side. A future challenge?
For cyclo-tourists riding in the valley below: there is a very, very long tunnel on the only low road that is filled with super fast traffic. It can be avoided by climbing to Notre-Dame-du-Pré and then following the sign down to Aime
Almost 2,000 metres vertical, lots of hairpins, on near-deserted roads.
Quiet / No Traffic