Col de la Croix Fry is one of my favourite winter road bike climbs (it was in the 2018 Tour de France). Above the col is Plateau Beauregard. My simple plan: Skip the main road, and mountain bike to the plateau via small farm roads/trails.
I started in Thônes, the same place where I usually start for Croix Fry but immediately headed in a different direction than usual.
After a kilometre I was on small roads (see map). It was paved until 1163 metres. Here begins a very steep rocky “road.” For the next 1.5 kms or so, I would pedal, slip off the bike, push, repeat.
The road gets a touch less steep as I approached the plateau.
With a name like Beauregard it’s not surprising that the views higher up are incredible. Across the valley is the Aravis Alps (La Clusaz ski domain) and in the distance I could see the edge of the Mont Blanc massif:
I continued across the plateau, finally reaching the Pointe de Beauregard at 1644 metres. It’s the top of a ski-lift
I’ve been on the plateau a few times as it’s great cross-country skiing in winter. The XC-ski trail head is exactly at Col de la Croix Fry (1477 metres), my next destination.
After descending to Col de la Croix Fry, I next headed along the side road towards Col de Merdassier to visit an artificial lake that was almost empty (it has barely rained in months). I had a few other ideas, but lacked a little motivation so I decided to keep the ride simple and short: descending the main Croix Fry road back to the start.
I am not used to seeing this road outside of winter but of course took a photo at my favourite hairpin, a tradition going back more than a decade (see the bottom of post for a bunch of old photos here). This might be my only photo here without lots of snow on the L’Etale peak in distance.
A fun, short, occasionally challenge loop. The views atop Plateau Beauregard are the highlight.