This is a beautiful 22 kilometre unpaved climb to Col du Jovet above Bozel in the Vanoise Alps.
Last year, I had cycled Col du Jovet from the north side via Notre Dame du Pré. It’s a huge, fabulous climb (almost 2000 metres ascent) – details here. But the views from the summit of the south side, including an enticing looking farm road, promised an even better climb.
I started in Bozel – well below Courchevel. The first 6 kilometres are paved, but it becomes a bumpy farm road at 1300 metres of altitude. After the flat part in the middle of the above profile, the route gets above the tree line. It was partly overcast, but the views are fantastic.
The road is occasionally very rough and rocky, although it improves higher up. But this requires a mountain bike or at least a hybrid with suspension.
The photo below is the high part of the farm road I had seen last year just below the refuge. Amazing place. I think it’s obvious why I wanted to try this.The road ends at 2360 metres at the Refuge du Jovet, but the Col itself is just a few hundred metres further – a short, steep, hike.
The way I descended is also very bumpy. It’s an interesting way down, with plenty of cows. Also, for the Col hunters, it passes Col du Parchit (1735m) – labeled on map below. But I chose the best side to climb: better views, more rideable.
This is a perfect example of why I have been doing more and more high unpaved climbs (vs paved) over the last couple of years. So quiet, high, and beautiful.
Quiet / no traffic