Starting from Arreau with the morning chill, we pootled up the valley for 4 km to reach the village of Ancizan where the main climbing began. The Horquette d’Ancizan is a steep climb, only 10.3km long but with an average gradient of 7.8% which sees a height gain of 805 metres. The steepest part, however, is right at the start with well over 10% as you leave the village.
After about 8 kilometres we arrived at the D918 and turned right to start the approach to the Col d'Aspin from Lac Payolle. We were starting just 6 km or so from the summit, with an average remaining gradient of 7.5%. This particular side of the Aspin is the 'easier' of the two, although most of the climbing still lay ahead of us.
The total look was just over 40 kilometres, with around 1200 metres of climbing, and it was wonderful. Definitely one to do again in future.