Cycling the Col de la Colombière from Le Grand Bornand (1613m)

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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Cycling the Col de la Colombière from Le Grand Bornand (1613m)

The Col de la Colombiere was the very first climb we cycled up upon arriving in the Alps this autumn and now, two months later, we also knew it would be our last. The weather had been growing increasingly cold of late and with several days of heavy rain (and therefore snow on the higher cols) forecast we knew it was time to head out of the mountains. Not that we could complain, hanging on until early November had been far more than we expected when we arrived. So, how did this final climb compare with our first?


On paper this southern approach is easier and it certainly felt that way on the road at 11.7km long with average gradient of 5.9%, a good 5km shorter and almost 1% shallower than the ascent from Scionzier.

Heading up together in a brief spell of late morning sunshine it took us under an hour to cover the distance to the top, keep a fairly even rythym the whole way apart from when we sped up through the middle, flatter section. Although the sky was still largely overcast the cloud cover was at least high enough to leave plenty of scenery on display for us to enjoy and, despite the chill, we both worked up a good sweat racing to the top.

It was a strange feeling to stand at the top and know that this would be our last Alpine col for who knew how long. There was a happiness at the experience of this single climb and also at the whole of our 2 month adventure in the Alps, but also a slight tinge of sadness that it had come to an end without knowing what was coming next. But then, we reminded ourselves, we never know what's coming next and it always turns out to be exactly what we need. And so we turned our bikes around and headed back to the motorhome, arrving just minutes before the afternoon downpour began.












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