Col de la Croix de Fer

(Barrage-du-Verney)

France

Croix de Fer is a gem of a mountain – and a must-do.

In the Savoie region of the French Alps, climbing Col de la Croix de Fer from Barrage-du-Verney is a long 27.5km climb, ascending 1292m. It has a wide range of gradients, with even a few descents. Nothing is constant on Croix de Fer – and, in particular, the beauty just gets better.

The road from Barrage-du-Verney heading towards Le Molard starts hard. In the shade, its small and quiet and passes waterfalls as it meanders around and up the valley. This is a climb without any roadside markings giving indications of distance and gradients, making it feel remote but also local. Imagine you did this every day – you’d be a warrior.

Lac du Grand Maison dam.

Gaining altitude and then dropping it. After 10km, the first recovery is about 3km long – making that next section in the distance look (and feel) that little bit more vertical. It’s a mental game.

Enroute, passing by Col du Glandon.

Col du Glandon.

And only a few more kilometres to go.

Want to see what it looks like from the other side? See, Col de la Croix de Fer (Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne) article.