For an overview map and details on every route I have cycled in the Pyrenées see here.
It was late in the afternoon, I was tired – after the second biggest single top-to-bottom climb I have ever done – and I cycled past the start of Luz Ardiden. It was now or “not-for-a-long-time.”
So I turned up the road. I had nothing to lose but my self-respect.
Luz Ardiden is a small ski station in the Pyrenées that has hosted eight Tour de France finishes since 1985.
Most memorably, was in 2003 when Armstrong crashed when he got a fans’ musette caught in his handle-bars. After his adversaries waited, he would storm on past them to win the stage … and the Tour.
It’s a “nice” climb. The first 10 kilometres wind up regularly, not much in the way of views as tree-lined. It was much quieter than other climbs in the area as the purpose-built ski station was completely shut down.
But it is the last three kilometres where Luz Ardiden shines. The tree line clears, and the hairpins abound.
Really fun. I’ll let the photos speak:
I am really glad I crammed this ride in despite the tired legs. Soon I’ll do a post summarizing all the options from Luz-St-Saveur or Argèles (in the same valley). Too many top class choices.
A fairly standard climb to a little ski station. But the last few kilometres and the great hairpin view from the top make this climb worth the effort.
Quiet / No Traffic
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Love your website, found it very useful when planning a trip to Alpe D’Huez last year and discovered a few climbs I wouldn’t have known about without your site (Col du Sabot was fantastic!).
Heading to the Pyrenees this year and staying in Luz-St-Saveur, just wondering if you ever did that post summarizing the climbs in that area?
No, but have a look at the overview of all my Pyrénées rides (link at top). From the same valley as Luz-St-Saveur, the following great climbs start: Cirque de Troumouse, Boucharo, Tourmalet, Aubisque (multiple options, I like the way via north side of Solour via Spandelles), Hautacam, Luz Ardiden, Aguille du Midi. It’s a great base. Hope that helps.