Snow Ride: Col de la Croix Fry & Col des Aravis


It has been the coldest, snowiest winter I remember since arriving in Europe.

I had hoped for more sun, I had an itch to scratch: Col de la Croix Fry is one of my favourite winter climbs. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and always well cleared. It’s a stunning place.

For a more challenging way up Croix Fry add the steep, beautiful, and quiet Col de Plan Bois – see here.

I’ve posted this ride several times before, so I will just post some photos.

Just above Manigod – half way up to Col de la Croix Fry, is one of my favourite cycling views. Today was not my best pic at this location ….. I have been taking a photo at this exact spot for years. 🙂


After reaching Col de la Croix Fry, I descended down towards La Clusaz, joining the Route des Grandes Alpes for the last few kms up to Col des Aravis. There were some fantastic snow walls (top photo and below).

After descending and climbing back to Col de la Croix Fry, I turned off for a quick and easy detour to the dead-end at Col de Merdassier (see map below). Finally, a cup of coffee to defrost before surviving the cold descent back to the start at Thônes.

I can’t recommend this ride enough – especially early in the season to better enjoy the huge snow-covered peaks nearby.

For details on the tougher south side of Col des Aravis – see here.


Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. ralph.bowman on

    Sweet! Reminds me of some of my “winter” rides in Colorado. Oh, how I miss it.
    No snow here at all here in Washington DC this winter but we are having a cold, blustry, rainy March instead.
    Cycling season is upon us! May it be an enjoyable year with many, many new adventures, as well as some old favorites.

  2. Reading this (in 30oC Oz) sent a shiver down my spine…

    … coffee without cake?

    Have you lost your mind?

  3. Pingback: 2014 “Cycling the Alps” Calendars : Cycling Challenge

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