Col des  Ares

This is a gentle pass, that can easily show up as a final surprise in loops over higher summits. It is still honored with the informational signs showing slope, and remaining climbing elevation directed especially towards cyclists. The nice views are on the south side.

1.(00.0km,0500m)START-END WEST:road jct eat of Cazaunous
2.(06.6km,0799m)TOP:Col des Ares
3.(14.1km,0470m)START-END EAST: low point, just north of Chaum


Approaches

From East.
A fast gentle climb goes along a green mountain across the wide valley: The Pic du Gar on the other side of the valley reaches 1716m. It looks like the road would just aim for the gentle, broad forested gap, without that a huge climb is required. But then there is one diversion in the form of a large curve in deep shade, that provides for cooler riding, and it leads to the top.

Here is a large restaurant that also provides some campsites at the very apex of the pass, at the exact spot, where you catch the first glimpse of the the valley to the north and the high peaks behind it.


From West. (described downwards). This side has a greater variety of views. A fast, only slightly curving descent levels in on Chaum and its narrow streets. In the background to the left are the first glimpses of snow covered peaks.




A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Col de Mente

History

Cycling - Tour de France: This little pass has been on a Tour de France stage an incredible 27 times since 1947. It is a safe bet that most or all of these stages went over higher summits. Routes with anchor point in Toulouse and Luchon appeared 5 times each, Carcasonne and Luchon 4 times each. The remaining routes all have different anchor points, even though Pau is another popular end/start point.