Lake Annecy Loop via the other Col de l’Epine


There are two climbs called Col de l’Epine in Haute Savoie – épine means thorn or prickle. I climbed the one near Chambery last week. Today, I climbed the other – half way between Annecy and Albertville.

With friends in town we did the standard visit to Annecy. So while they wandered through the old town, I took my bike up the bike path for a big loop of Lake Annecy via the Col de l’Epine. Its a steepish short climb – only about 7 kms with nice views of the valley below. The sign says it is over 1,000 metres but in fact it is well below this – closer to 950.

After the climb the road leads onto a great quiet road around a steep gorge. A quick descend and then up the small Col de Marais. Through Thones and back to Annecy via Col de Bluffy. The rest days and a quiet ride on the home trainer left me feeling much better/stronger today. Pizza in town as Doreen showed me her successful shopping.


Col de lEpine Col de Bluffy Col de Marais


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Hi Leslie

    Yes, weather has been very dodgy here. I rode yesterday morning with an Aussie that found drizzle and 15 celsius too cold!
    Luckily we are real men (Canadian).

    Organizing this tour in Alsace/Black Forest versus the Alps was sheer genius. Snow at 1800 metres recently means many big Alps climbs are undoable or VERY treacherous.

    Enjoy the pastries and see you in a few days.
    My legs are twitching in anticipation.


  2. Hi Chilly,
    Looking forward to hearing how you did today — I was nervous for you last night but managed to fight through and sleep until 9.15am, at which time I awoke and realized you had already been up for several hours.

    I did a run in your honour and am now parked on the couch watching a movie…storing up vicarious energy which I am sending to you so you can conquer the Alsace cols.

    I am very proud of you…keep me posted.


  3. Stuard Detmer on

    This is a wonderful ride and one of my favorite short rides near Annecy. Beautiful scenery and very doable for novice riders. I did it summer 2007 with my 11 year old son, Austin. He’s gunning for polka-dots next year.

  4. Pingback: Cycling Challenge » Cycling » Top 5 Cycling Climbs — Lake Annecy

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