Road Cycling: Col de la Madeleine South - 1,992 m. (6,536 ft)

Thu, 25 September 2014


Minimum altitude: 163 meters

Distance: 168.6 km

Slope Aspect: South-West

Trip Reports

Vertical Climbed: 3,344 meters (10,972 feet)

Vertical Descended: 3,238 meters

Rating: 5


There are four routes up the Col de la Madeleine on the south side

  1. The normal route from la Chambre - 19.5km with some 40 wide hairpins. About 3km from the summit the road goes through the ski resort of Saint-Fran├žois-Longchamp. The steepest km is over 9%
  2. Montgellafrey from la Chambre. This is very sun exposed. It joins Route #1 at Saint-Fran├žois. There are some long, steep sections on this climb.
  3. Via the lacets de Montvernier, the Col de Chaussy and Bonvillard and a long gravel climb from the lac du Loop (wolf lake). There are sections at 13% on the climb although the gravel is a more reasonable 8%.
  4. From la Chambre take the normal climb then branch off to Montaimont and join option 3 at Bonvillard. This has the advantage over 3 in that there is very little descent.

Trip Report

Rode with Mike, a big day in the saddle starting from his house near Pontcharra. We took in the Cucheron, a noble climb in itself then descended to the Madeleine. The last 3 km were very hard for me and I met Mike at the col chatting to some girls. It was very cold and windy and only got colder on the dark north side. We'd thought about stopping at Albertville and taking the train. It was very bright, warm with a strong headwind and dust blowing everywhere. Finally a bakery stop re-motivated us even if the last kms were on very up and down roads. Mike cracked at Montmelian, paying for dropping me at the top of the Madeleine no doubt.


Very cold at altitude. Even with gloves my hands were freezing. But very warm back in the valley with dust, a head wind, very tiring. We relayed from the base of the Madeleine back to Pontcharra.


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