Vallée Verte Five Col Loop


Col des Arces Col de Jambaz Col des Moises Col des Arces Col de Cou

No matter how much you cycle in the Alps, there are always new climbs to explore. Today’s ride took me past 5 Cols, only one of which i knew (and four that were not in my cycling bible).

earth view

Today was a good example of a ride I couldn’t have done without a GPS. I mapped out a confusing track through the beautiful Vallée Verte (Green Valley) region due south of Lake Geneva trying to hit all 5 Cols – uploaded the route onto my GPS – and Voilà, had an easy to follow trail.

5 Cols

Looking at the elevation chart, there were two main climbs. Col des Moises was the first and biggest climb of the day. A fantastic route along a quiet road through the woods.

The other was Col des Arces – along a tiny little road with views of the nearby ski station. The route also climbs parts of Col de Terramont and Col du Cou (which I knew), and also went by Col de Jambaz – where i doubled back and searched in Vain for a good sign. As the satellite photo shows, the descent home had great views of Lake geneva

This is a fantastic route worth repeating.

The roads were mainly clear, but there were lots of ice patches so I was glad I left the road bike at home.

Col de Terramont

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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. i did this ride on sunday, its nice to be able to ride semi-high (1117m) in february. col du feu is amazingly beautiful, especially when it opens up right at the top. super cute town at the bottom of the north side tooo. terremont kinda comes by suprise, no switchbacks or anything from the Feu, it looked hard from the Col du Cou tho.

  2. Hi Will

    Sounds like you are settling well Welcome to Europe

    Yes a simple great ride is just to do Feu up and down on both sides – scenic and quiet.

    The route up to Moises was also carless and superb

  3. Pingback: Col Hunting in the Vallée Verte : Cycling Challenge

  4. I am going to Thonon Les Bains as my first stop of cycling some of the alps in July. Me and my friend intend to do the cols mentioned above as a warm up before venturing too Alps de Huez and Mount Ventoux. Could you possibly list out the five climbs separately because I have difficulty understanding it?

  5. Did this today. First proper ride back after a couple of months off the bike with a bad knee. Fabulous ride, perfect day for it. Thanks Will for the route. Had a terrrifying run-in with a huge dog that bounded 200 metres up the hill from a house and barked alongside me for 300 yards. House is on the way up Col des Moises from Draillant. If it had managed to knock me off would have done some serious damage. I’d avoid climbing up this one people…

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