Col de la Croix de Fer from the Westby Alan James - UKC and UKH Sep/2011
This route has been read 980 times
The Col de la Croix de Fer (2067m) is yet another great col in this wonderful area of France that is also home to the Galibier and Alpe d'Huez. On the notoriety stakes it is probably overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbours - less steep, and with fewer mad spectators - but it is without doubt one of the most beautiful rides in the area.
The long valley gives a majestic ride through stunning scenery with fewer zig-zag sections than most of the cols hereabouts. For much of the climb it is a fairly steady gradient which can seem a little endless and makes you realise how zig-zag bends provide useful targets. There is even the novelty of some downhill hairpins when you least expect them as the road drops across the valley to tackle it from the other side. These come as a bit of a shock on the descent from the summit. Near the top you can grab a free 'extra col'. The Col du Glandon (1924m) branches off just before the main Croix de la Fer and is the more popular route for the mighty Marmotte circuit to take.
Approaching the Col de la Croix de Fer
Distance: 17.81 miles (28.66 km)
Total ascent: 1,818m
Steepest Gradient: 17% (1 in 6)
Time: 1:30 – 3:30 hours (Road biking)
Start Allemont near Bourg de Oisans in Savoie, France, 45.1276, 6.0378; Finish The summit of the Col de la Croix de Fer (2067m), 45.2278, 6.2027
Good roads although they can be busy with traffic. It is popular with cyclists in the summer and the photographers are out on the picturesque final section.
The whole area is a ski resort in the winter. Spring and Autumn should be okay but it will be cold on the col. Summer is best when it is also at its most popular.
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