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.
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.
A cycling journey like no other. This doesn't technically fit with the definition of "col" (mountain pass) but it does with the word "EPIC".
Col du Galibier
(Col du Télégraphe)
The most stringent (road bike) col on the French mainland – Col du Galibier is iconic. It is deemed to be a 'top 5' of world climbs, and is favoured by teams for pre Tour training.
Un-passable in the winter, un-missable in the summer this is a legendary climb which regularly inflicts pain and suffering on World Tour riders as they make their way to the summit.