Col du Chaussy ... Thanks for mentioning it -- not something I'd thought of trying before. I've seen the old tight switchbacks to Montvernier many times from the highway, but it didn't occur to me that they connected to something interesting for cycling.
Originally Posted by steeleman
N side of Glandon not one of the more interesting or scenic climbs I've done (if doing the loop counter-clockwise) - (but then the S side climb from Allemond + Rochetaillee isn't so exciting either). Descent of upper section of E side of Croix de Fer has a great view toward the Aiguilles d'Arves -- but watch out for speed bumps on the steepest section thru the village St Sorlin.
... maybe the Croix de Fer-St Jean de Maurienne-Glandon loop?
maybe there's something to be said for doing the loop instead clockwise and stopping at the top to look back to savor the view (after glimpses on switchbacks?).Last time I was there they were doing construction on some lower tunnels, so I had to climb over Col Mollard / Albiez.
Myself I think that loop has too much unscenic uninteresting slogging - (if you're not riding it with a pack of other cyclists).
I was hoping to do Croix de Fer-Galibier loop, but I suspect the Galibier will still be closed.
I noticed this year the famous "la Marmotte" event is offering a new option which does only the second half of the loop: starting from Valloire, clockwise over Galibier + Lauteret to Bourg d'Oisans. Brilliant! because that skims most of the best of the loop.
I thought the descent W from Col du Lauteret to Bourg d'Oisans was rather fun -- even if the Galibier itself is closed. And the views of the glaciated N faces of the Meije and other Ecrins mountains is great from the main Lauteret road. Could also go partway down the E side of Lauteret for more views (but all the way to Briancon and back is overdoing it).
Or is there something else similar in challenge to recommend?
Actually the views S fr the Galibier pass itself to the great N faces is partly obscured -- so maybe if the road is plowed partway up its S side (from Lauteret), you might get high enough to get the best (unobstructed) views. (? or maybe the road on the south side will be plowed all the way to the top?)
"similar" challenge within driving range:
* Col du Mont Cenis: Lanslebourg over and down to Susa (Italy) and back (the big climb is from the Italy side). Or make it a loop (counter-clockwise) by parking in Modane and taking the bus thru the Tunnel de Frejus to Bardonecchia and start riding from there. Or for true "animal" status, climb from Susa S up to Colle delle Finestre (dirt higher up, Giro 2005 ? not fully plowed?) before returning to France.
* Bastille climb on the N side of Grenoble city. About the steepest paved road around.
Worth it if it's sunny down south and raining in Grenoble.
Or maybe I get a wild hair and drive down and do the Ventoux. How far is that drive from Oisans? Is it worth it?
There is only one Mont Ventoux, and the climb to the 360 view is special in that it goes thru at least three distinct ecosystems - (though the climbing itself is somewhat of a slog, could use more variety). Not worth it if you can't see the view.
More worth it if you can also ride something else interesting down south -- like around the Gorges du Verdon on second day. Or extend the Ventoux day into a loop descending a different way and like riding thru some Cotes du Rhone wine villages or something.
Another "challenge" to the south (with less unmelted snow?):
* Jausiers -> Col Larche / Maddalena into Italy -> SE to Vinadio -> Col Lombarde (not yet plowed?) back into France -> Isola + NW thru St-Etienne-de-Tinee -> Col Bonette / Restefond (with side loop over highest paved road in France ? not yet plowed?) -> fun descent to Jausiers.
about as much vertical (with perhaps more slogging) as the Croix de Fer + Galibier loop, but early season in June the visible snow might make it pretty enough to be worth it. And you get to say you climbed up higher than either of Cols Galibier or Iseran.
I think there's also a possible loop into Italy with Larche and N to Col d'Agnel / Colle d'Agnello
(3rd highest in Europe, perhaps not yet plowed?) - (SE side from Italy is sustained 10-11% grade, I sorta remember there's some "Fausto Coppi" ride which uses it - (but I feel like last time the Giro crossed Agnel, they climbed the "easy" side from France).