Val Thorens

Val thorens Cycling Grade

One of the longest and biggest climbs in France. Val Thorens is the highest resort in the world famous Trois Vallées ski area (Courchevel, Méribel, etc).

Summit: 2,340 metres (7,680 feet)

The Climb: 38.2 kms (23.7 miles); Ascent: 2,000 metres (6,560 feet)

Back in January 2008, To help winter pass, I wrote about 5 big climbs – that I had never cycled – all above 2000 metres. Val Thorens was the 4th to be completed …. Col Agnel next year?

I used my second and final “Car Support” birthday coupon from Doreen. So another super fun day with filled water bottle hand-offs, bum pushes, enthusiastic cheering, cookies, and a lovely photographer.

The climb starts on the exit ramp of the Auto-route – or 30 seconds away in Moutiers – so we stopped at the 1st hairpin and unloaded the bike. 38 kms is an awfully long way to go uphill – but the route isn’t “too” steep and a couple of small downhills provide breaks.

Val Thorens Val Thorens Notre Dame de la Vie - 17th century Val Thorens Above Val Thorens

Tour de France: Obviously rated Hors Categorie, this climb has appeared only once in 1994, stage 17.

With several towns along the route – there is light but fast traffic on the first half of the route. After Saint-Martin it gets much quieter and the scenery ever more savage. Can you find me in the photos below?

Val Thorens - Can you find me?

Val Thorens

I rode another kilometre or so past the town sign to reach the high point at 2340 metres. Once at the top, I was thrilled to get in the car and drive down. It would have been a terrifyingly cold and long descent. Thanks again to Doreen for such a fun birthday present.


About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Pingback: Five Big Cycling Climbs - A To-Do List : Cycling Challenge

  2. Congratulations on living the life! I have been following your blog for the last month or so – fantastic rides you are doing!! When you post your blogs, i love the pictures but it would be great if you could provide more details – we want to hear more about these adventures!!

  3. Impressive (very) and it is also clear that Doreen’s BD present idea for you was 100% on target. A cyclist’s dream spouse.

  4. Pingback: Metric Century Trainer Hell …. and Some Skiing : Cycling Challenge

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!