Spring Cycling In The Pyrenees - Horquette d’Ancizan (1564m) and Col d’Aspin (1489m) Loop From Arreau

So, this was probably our most ambitious ride of the year so far. Usually we tend to go up and down a climb, trying not to overdo it so that we can ride pretty much every day (weather permitting). This time, however, we decided to go for a two col loop. Here’s how we got on.
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.

Now, the reason for us trying this slightly more demanding loop on this particular day was due to the weather being amazing. Brilliant blue skies and no wind, perfect for cycling up hills. It didn't take long before we were soon rising up the floor of the Val d'Aure and enjoying impressive views along the valley and to the snowy peaks to the south,

The winding climb of the Horquette d'Ancizan was on lovely quiet roads. Unlike some of the more 'famous' climbs, the road felt a lot less manicured than in other parts of the mountains. Of course, even some of the most frequently raced climbs of the Alps have narrow sections, but this particular climb was hemmed in closely for much of the way up and it felt very peaceful as a result. Again, it may not be the same in mid-July, but even with a few dozen other cyclists around, it still felt very quiet.

We reached the top of the Horquette, stopping for a brief photo or two along with a couple of dozen other cyclists and day visitors, and then descended the other side. The view was brilliant, which the pictures can say more than me. In total we descended for 500 metres, broken by a single uphill kilometre soon after the leaving the top. With the sun shining strongly it was fantastic to be on the bike in such a perfect day.

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.

Winding up through the trees with mountains away to our right was stunning. We rode together, passing a few people and waving at the many other cyclists coming down the hill. It seemed like no time at all before we had reached the top of the Aspin. Plenty of people were there having lunch and we joined them briefly for a banana and dried fig, before whipping down the other side and back home.

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.











COMMENTS

Name

Adventure Articles,24,Alpine Adventure Summer 2016,31,Alps,151,Animal,8,Archaeology,6,Astronomy,3,Backpacking,16,Baronnies Provençales,6,Beach,36,Belgium,3,birthday,4,Britain,18,Buying A Motorhome,19,Cabo de Gata,60,Cabo de Gata Hikes,16,Camping,29,Career Break,5,Caves,4,Charity,3,Christmas,9,Cities,9,Clearing Out,4,Coast,35,Community,9,Cost of Motorhome Touring,15,Cycling,111,Cycling Articles,8,Cycling French Alps,48,Cycling Holland,6,Cycling Italy,1,Cycling Norway,1,Cycling Provence,7,Cycling Pyrenees,30,Cycling Spain,8,Cycling Switzerland,12,Diary,63,Dog,21,Ecrins National Park,26,Egypt,2,Family,5,Featured,14,Featured Places,10,France,162,France Hikes,63,Friends,35,Germany,3,Glaciers,33,GR route,57,Haute Route,5,Health,2,Hiking,132,Hiking Articles,13,Holland,23,Humour,14,Incontinence,4,Interrail,3,Italy,8,Italy Hikes,1,Juicing,4,Lake District,2,Lakes,17,Leela,23,Lego Motorhomers,8,Local Community,8,Local Traditions,16,Luxembourg,3,Markets,19,Mindfulness,14,Money,6,Motorhome,67,Motorhome Articles,25,Motorhome Sleeping,4,Museums,6,Music Event,2,Norway,2,Nutrition,12,Organic Food,16,Places UK,2,Places Egypt,1,Places France,23,Places Italy,3,Places of Interest,56,Places Spain,19,Places Switzerland,29,Prehistoric,5,Provence,4,Puppies,14,Pyrenees,46,Queyras,44,Recycling,4,Rediscovery,7,Relationship,11,Roman Ruins,2,Route des Grande Alpes,15,Running,17,Scotland,1,Sea,27,Spain,71,Spain Hikes,19,Stars,5,Sun,17,Sunrise,5,Sunset,10,Switzerland,64,Switzerland Hikes,38,TE,3,Thoughts on the road,29,Tour de France,64,Tour du Mont Blanc,20,Travel Advice,20,UK,14,Val d'Anniviers,31,Vall de Laguar Hikes,2,Vallee de Anzère,1,Vanoise National Park,1,Volcano,12,Walks,120,Waterfalls,11,Wellness,15,wildlife,26,Winter Stays,7,
ltr
item
Adventures In Life, Love, Health & Travel: Spring Cycling In The Pyrenees - Horquette d’Ancizan (1564m) and Col d’Aspin (1489m) Loop From Arreau
Spring Cycling In The Pyrenees - Horquette d’Ancizan (1564m) and Col d’Aspin (1489m) Loop From Arreau
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zYJlA-xY71Y/WwfBJm5tg2I/AAAAAAAAp_I/FALGzk_Zx64uV3gNzfxu5TwZKxe6zz0TgCKgBGAs/s320/P1250497.JPG
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zYJlA-xY71Y/WwfBJm5tg2I/AAAAAAAAp_I/FALGzk_Zx64uV3gNzfxu5TwZKxe6zz0TgCKgBGAs/s72-c/P1250497.JPG
Adventures In Life, Love, Health & Travel
http://www.estheranddan.com/2018/05/spring-cycling-in-pyrenees-horquette-ancizan-col-aspin-arreau-loop.html
http://www.estheranddan.com/
http://www.estheranddan.com/
http://www.estheranddan.com/2018/05/spring-cycling-in-pyrenees-horquette-ancizan-col-aspin-arreau-loop.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