Le Semnoz is the huge mountain on the west side of Lake Annecy. I have climbed it many times from the South side via St Eustache and Col des Leschaux, but today was the first time using the direct route from Annecy – starting near the hospital.
It’s a beautiful route through forested roads up to a tiny ski station. 18 kilometres and over 1200 metres (4000 feet) of ascent means this is a fairly big climb. It can be steep in parts and the last 7 kms average about 9%. Up top, on a clear day are good views of the Lake as well as Mont Blanc and other alps.
Below: You can see the lake in the bottom left and the white peaks of Mont Blanc in the background (my photos rarely do these views justice).
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Just to say thanks for the site. I’ve just got back from France after a two week family holiday (with my bike).
I’m happy to tell you I got up Le Semnoz (via St Eustache) and the Grand Colombier (via Virieu le Petit). The Grand Colombier was intense, and I took the ‘easy’ route!
It was my first time cycling up mountains that steep (I live in Surrey…) and I was skeptical about fitting a third front chain ring before leaving, but I’m so glad I did.
Thanks you again for the site.
Matt, Fantastic. Those are two tough climbs …. especially Grand Colombier – even the “easy” side is brutal. Very well done.
Thank you for your great site!
It proved to be the inspiration for my 2 week holiday this July where I covered about 350 miles in 7 rides including Le Semnoz, Col de l’Arpettaz, Cols des Aravis and Saisies and both the local Col de la Forclaz (Montmin and Quiege).
Unfortunately I had to abort my attempt of the Signal de Bissane 1.8km frm the top as I had no gas left in the tank as the climb got steeper and steeper as it went on. Unfinshed business that will draw me back to Annecy in a couple of years time to complete the task!
Keep up the good work, and I hope to be climbing all of these great climbs on your website eventually!