Col De La croix de fer

 

Col De La Croix de Fer

 

A long and often used Col in the TdF and the Daphine.

It is possible to climb it from three direction. The most dedicated option is from St. Jean-du-Maurienne. Even from this way you can do it 2-3 ways, either on the main route d926 (Road to St Sorlin and La Toussuire) or via a smaller road through La Mollard (if you want to add some additional 400m climbing) and then to the d926, St Sorlin.

The first TdF visit was in 1947 and Fermo Camellini of Italy was the first over the climb

Nice, long and normally very sunny climb. It gets tougher after St Sorlin, the views get better to the glacier and a number of switch backs appear in the last 5 kms. You also pass two tunnels on the lower slopes of the climb. After the top there are some stunning lakes on the south side. On hot summer days there are lots of insects and flies on this climb, so sunglasses and insect repellant are good accessories.

St Sorlin has a number of restaurant, guest houses and a major food strore (Sherpa), at the top of the col there is a small cafe. Its a very nice place to stay and explore the Cols. Visiting the glacier and the three lakes is a nice (half day) hike.

21st on ProCycling magazine’s ‘50 Greatest Climbs’ list. (January 2007 issue)

 

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