The Barillette Challenge


My first attempt at “The Barillette Challenge”. 12.5 kilometers uphill, averaging 8% and often much steeper.

High in the Jura mountains, La Barillette overlooks lake Geneva. La Cote Wheelers cycling club members like to race up and time themselves.

Route up to La Barillette Moo La Dole

The top is a Swisscom communication tower and a nearby air radar facility on La Dole. The road is perfectly surfaced and virtually car free. It’s a difficult but absolutely fantastic climb.

Primarily through the woods, the route opens up in the last couple of kilometres for panoramic views of the lake and the distant Alps.


Start of La Barillette Challenge

The start is at the intersection/sign pictured at left (a left turn a 100 metres or so from center of Gingins – see map below). From the start just follow signs to La Barillette (or La Dole):

I decided to get my heart rate up high and see if I could maintain it.

I am very pleased (surprised?) with how I did. I was able to hold my heart rate at about 93% (threshold) for the better part of an hour – see graph below. I even had enough left for a really, really, (really), weak sprint at the end that brought me close to max heart rate. Sometimes it takes a challenge to feel a little extra motivation.

I am lighter and feeling fitter than I have in a long time. And the occasional tail wind didn’t hurt either. 😉

Be careful descending, I always seem to have deer crossing the road in front of me in this area.

I was too exhausted at the top to enjoy the views behind me:

View of Lake Geneva

I am not the fastest cyclist, but was pleased with my time of 61 minutes – let me know how you do. 😉
GPS time verification



About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Nice one young Will 🙂 93% for an hour is v impressive.
    Now, ease off a little to 85-90% and throw in some short sharp >93% intervals while climbing (making sure to not fall below 85% when you back off/recover) and amaze yourself at how much easier/faster it is next time you do it as a TT 🙂
    Buy me a beer if you improve, or go get a proper coach if you dont 😉

  2. Pingback: La Baudichonne : Cycling Challenge

  3. Anthony Ives on

    Just did this climb tonight – my 3rd ever climb (I am a cycling noob) !

    I’ve done Col de la Faucille twice in the past few weeks but this was alot tougher. I ascended in 1hr 15-ish mins – so well off your pace!

    Your site is excellent. Well done.


  4. Did the ride from Cheserex with some friends lastnight, 62 mins, then had a great Fondue at the restaurant, a great evening and the descent with some powerful bike lights was a blast.

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