The road headed out of town to the east of the ski-lift, circling around the back of the hill which explains why there is no sign of a road from Bagneres. What we found as we climbed was that, unlike the Port de Bales which was intermittently steep and gentle, the road mostly maintained a challenging gradient all the way up. Not too steep, except on a few short sections where it kicked a bit, but just hard enough that there were no ‘easy’ bits to recover on. It was very beautiful though.
Personally I struggled a bit over the last few kilometres. A false summit a few kilometres from the top threw my motivation a little, as I crested the rise to see the grey hotel still some way off, but that was probably weather related. It was getting quite cold by now. Thankfully I’d thought to pack our big coats for the descent. Still, this was definitely a great climb, very visually impressive, and much harder than the statistics imply.
A few pictures from the climb.