Ascent to the Col d'Aspin - Halloween in the Hills

After our epic 2 cols ride the previous day, we took things a little slower on Friday morning and drove the short distance from Arreau to Saint Lary to visit the regional market and replenish our supplies before returning to Arreau once more by early afternoon. However, with the October heatwave continuing for yet another day but the days getting ever shorter we knew we couldn't hang around too long if we wanted to be out on our bikes once more taking advantage of the bright sunshine. As it was already mid-afternoon we decided to give the Col d'Aspin a go since the road to the col began just a few hundred metres from our motorhome outside of Arreau.
At 1469m the Col d'Aspin would be one of the lower cols we'd attempted, but it is also one of the most popular and well known climbs of the Tour de France where it ranks as a category 1 climb with a total ascent of 779m from Arreau over 12km (6.5%). We were eager to give it a go and add yet another col to our growing collection, following in the pedal strokes of some of the famous names of cycling once again.

Starting out in bright sunshine we found the first two kilometres relatively easygoing and just a warm up to the main business of ascending that would happen over the final 10km, with a challenging gradient that hovered at around 8% for much of the way. However, as the road to the col wound its way up a rounded slope protruding out over the Val d'Aure we were delighted to find that after just 5 or 6 km of climbing that the view right along the valley was one of the most fabulous we had enjoyed so far. As the late afternoon sun was already beginning to descend in the sky and there was a slight haze in the air it cast a soft light over the entire panorama, giving the scene before us a magical feeling.

The road was relatively quiet and Esther soon powered ahead having warmed up her tired legs and was feeling strong. I, however, was not feeling quite so good and so pottered along behind slowly grinding my legs as fast as they would comfortably turn and marking off the kilometres one by one, passing wandering cows and admiring the circling birds of prey as I went. Although some sections felt longer than others the finish line was soon in sight as I rounded the final curve in the hillside to see Esther cheering me on from the top and I even managed a sprint for the line.

Cresting the hill also revealed the view west to the distant Pyrenees and the Pic du Midi which stands above the Col du Tourmalet that we had visited a week or so beforehand. It was fantastic and we had even managed to arrive before the sun left the col completely so that we could enjoy the final rays of warmth as we sat taking in the view in both directions until the shadows finally chased us off the top to roll down a chilly descent. Back in the motorhome we even managed to mark Halloween after taking a biro to a handy acorn squash and enjoying a fantastic squash, bean and brussel sprout stew for dinner.





Cycle Information: 
Motorhome Base: Arreau
Start/ End Point: Arreau
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 779m
Average Gradient: 6.5%

Other Related Posts:
Road Cycling in the Hautes-Pyrénées - The Most Famous & Difficult Climbs of the Tour de France

7 Spectacular Cycling Climbs From Vallée d'Aure, Hautes-Pyrénées - Arreau & Saint-Lary-Soulan

Tackling 4 Amazing Cycling Climbs in the Ariege-Pyrénées, France - and 4 for the Future!

See All Our Cycling Climbs in the Pyrenees






COMMENTS

Name

Adventure Articles,23,Alpine Adventure Summer 2016,30,Alps,148,Animal,8,Archaeology,6,Astronomy,3,Backpacking,16,Baronnies Provençales,6,Beach,35,Belgium,3,birthday,4,Britain,18,Buying A Motorhome,19,Cabo de Gata,56,Cabo de Gata Hikes,16,Camping,27,Career Break,5,Caves,4,Charity,3,Christmas,9,Cities,9,Clearing Out,4,Coast,35,Community,9,Cost of Motorhome Touring,15,Cycling,91,Cycling Articles,8,Cycling French Alps,34,Cycling Holland,6,Cycling Norway,1,Cycling Provence,5,Cycling Pyrenees,22,Cycling Spain,8,Cycling Switzerland,2,Diary,58,Dog,19,Ecrins National Park,25,Egypt,2,Family,5,Featured,11,Featured Places,8,France,157,France Hikes,60,Friends,35,Germany,3,Glaciers,29,GR route,57,Haute Route,5,Health,1,Hiking,127,Hiking Articles,12,Holland,23,Humour,14,Incontinence,4,Interrail,3,Italy,7,Italy Hikes,1,Juicing,4,Lake District,2,Lakes,16,Leela,21,Lego Motorhomers,8,Local Community,8,Local Traditions,16,Luxembourg,3,Markets,19,Mindfulness,14,Money,6,Motorhome,62,Motorhome Articles,24,Motorhome Sleeping,4,Museums,6,Music Event,2,Norway,2,Nutrition,12,Organic Food,16,Places UK,2,Places Egypt,1,Places France,19,Places Italy,3,Places of Interest,56,Places Spain,12,Places Switzerland,20,Prehistoric,5,Provence,3,Puppies,12,Pyrenees,39,Queyras,44,Recycling,4,Rediscovery,7,Relationship,11,Roman Ruins,2,Route des Grande Alpes,7,Running,17,Scotland,1,Sea,27,Spain,69,Spain Hikes,19,Stars,5,Sun,17,Sunrise,5,Sunset,10,Switzerland,55,Switzerland Hikes,28,TE,3,Thoughts on the road,29,Tour de France,43,Tour du Mont Blanc,19,Travel Advice,20,UK,14,Val d'Anniviers,31,Vall de Laguar Hikes,2,Volcano,12,Walks,120,Waterfalls,11,Wellness,15,wildlife,26,Winter Stays,5,
ltr
item
Adventures In Life, Love, Health, Travel... & Puppies!: Ascent to the Col d'Aspin - Halloween in the Hills
Ascent to the Col d'Aspin - Halloween in the Hills
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-y5COdaG_qkY/VFvQcJl3GpI/AAAAAAAAEnQ/Fq7CgNu76Ag/s1600/IMG_5288.JPG
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-y5COdaG_qkY/VFvQcJl3GpI/AAAAAAAAEnQ/Fq7CgNu76Ag/s72-c/IMG_5288.JPG
Adventures In Life, Love, Health, Travel... & Puppies!
http://www.estheranddan.com/2014/10/col-daspin-cycling-pyrenees.html
http://www.estheranddan.com/
http://www.estheranddan.com/
http://www.estheranddan.com/2014/10/col-daspin-cycling-pyrenees.html
true
4369079780186902262
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy