La Baudichonne


Continuing my sampling of beautiful, challenging, car-free roads in the Jura mountains — today I climbed up to La Baudichonne.

It’s less than 10kms but a very steep climb averaging almost 10%. The route climbs the Juras along the Swiss-French border near another great climb: La Barillette. It’s a tiny, single lane forest road, and I brought a hybrid bike in case it was bumpy – but this was Switzerland not France – so the surface was impeccable.

At the top it was below freezing and windy. I am really pushing this late season climbing thing. But I had plenty of layers and my balaclava. So the descent wasn’t too horrible. Another great Jura ride without seeing a single car.

In the Jura mountains directly North of Lake Geneva there are several fantastic climbs along well-surfaced, car-free roads. Unfortunately, many cyclists don’t seem to know about these roads and too many continue to climb the truck-filled Col de la Faucille.

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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Hi Will,
    once more a great climb, that I never climbed.
    This must be incredible to climb a mountain like “La Barillette” when there is a sea of clouds and the sun at the summit… In any case, I’d like very much 🙂
    Is the Mount Tendre forecasted ? Probably a very nice climb too !
    I love your website, the better of the web.
    Just a thing: the “Montagne de l’Epine” (Col du Chat-Mont du Chat-Col de l’Epine) is a Jura mountain. It is not the Alps.
    Thank you to share your photos and update regularly the website 🙂

  2. Salut Bastien,

    Merci pour votre message.

    Pour vous, La Barillette et puis descend pour grimper La Baudichonne serait une belle route. Ou meme (avec VTT) une boucle avec Col du Puthod.

    Mont Tendre? Peut-etre s’il fait plus chaud la semaine prochaine. Mais c’est deja l’hiver en haut 🙂

    Mont Chat a Jura?. I am not sure. Because it is on the East (est) side of the Rhone. Le Cycle Magazine called it an Alp and Grand Colombier a Jura in its Review “Les 30 Plus Beaux Cols de France (July 2005) ” and Altigraph have it in their Alps book and not in their Jura book.

    Donc, je ne sais pas. Perhaps, as you are correct, it certainly “feels” like ii is in the Juras. 🙂


  3. I have got “Les 30 Plus Beaux Cols de France” and Altigraph book too, but classification is incorrect. The “Mont du Chat” is the last summit of Jura mountains in south.
    (see “Plus hauts cols routiers”)
    (this geology website says that it’s “un mont jurassien presque typique”)

    About the “Mont Tendre” that will be complicated next week if it snows a little the next few days, but after all, you wanted to climb a part of the Matterhorn in the snow once 🙂


  4. Bastien,


    OK it is in the Juras! 🙂 Thanks and that Wiki article was very interesting:

    Plus prosaïquement, le terme de « Chat » n’a rien à voir avec nos amis félins, mais a le sens très ancien de « passage » comme dans le « chas de l’aiguille

  5. Pingback: Col de Combe Blanche (or Col de la Vattay? or Col de Puthod?) : Cycling Challenge

  6. Hi Will
    Trying in vain to get altigraph’s Jura book. Can’t get it anywhere. In the absence of the book could you please let me know the altigraph’s score for Le grand colombier (which I’ve climb many times) as I want to compare it to the other climbs in the altigraph alps books (which I have) in preparation for the Etape this year
    Thanks in advance if you can help

  7. Hi Paul,

    There are 4 ways up Grand Colombier:

    From the East (they share the last 9 kms):

    1. Start: Seyssel 20.9 kms,1300 metres ascent, Altigraph 120

    2. Start Culoz 17.6 kms, 126à metres ascent, Altigraph 111

    From Culoz is a much more fun and scenic route.

    From the West:

    3. Start: Artemare (long way), 21kms, 1300 metres ascent, Altigraph 117

    4. Start Artemare (short), 15.5 kms 1250 metres ascent, Altigraph 106

    This last route takes a direct short cut in the middle with super stretches …. long stretch @ 22%. Don’t descend this way!

    Hope that helps,

    BTW, next to Grand Colombier is the very difficult Col de la Biche – both sides have an Altigraph of 101. It’s easy to combine Biche and Colombier. in a loop.



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