Cormet de Roselend is a mountain pass that has it all. Our favourite local climb and quite possibly one the most picturesque roads in the area with spectacular views over Mont Blanc to the east.
The southern ascent rises sharply from Bourg Saint Maurice and snakes through the valley with a deceptively steep drag past a derelict, graffiti-adourned hotel.
A series of narrow switchbacks take you up through the tranquility of the forest. It was here where Johan Bruyneel over-shot the last hairpin and had to be hauled out of the ravine below whilst descending from the summit into Bourg Saint Maurice on his way to the stage finish up in Les Arcs during the 1996 Tour de France. Luckily he was able to continue in the race. The hairpin creeps up on you after a fairly fast section, so be careful.
There is a brief respite as the road levels off for almost two kilometres before the gradient ramps up again for the final 7k through the alpine meadows.
The north side ascent from Beaufort is as challenging as the south side. Once past the lake the road rises again with gradients of around 7% on the way to the summit.
As an alternative, if you are looking for a big challenge you could try Col du Pré which starts in Beaufort and rejoins the Cormet de Roselend at the lake. It’s 12 kilometres long and with some very steep gradients, but it’s worth it for the views over the alpine valley to the West.
A fantastic ride, whichever option you take. We look forward to riding it with you.
Cormet de Roselend stats