Col Du Frene

You can see the switchbacks of this pass from the valley of the Isere, near its junction with the Maurienne Valley. But the eye is drawn immediately to the tooth like peak next to the pass, the Dent d'Arclusaz (2041m). On the other side of the pass this route shows off more peaks of this nature in the Bauge Massif.

1.(300m,00.0km) START-END SOUTH: bridge over L'Isere, south of Saint Pierre D'Abigny
2.(950m,10.9km)TOP: Col du Frene
3.(730m,19.4km)START-END NORTH: jct with D60B to Jarsy on right
4.(540m,40.2km)START-END NORTH ALT: Cusy


From South.
A small side road runs along the very southern edge of the Bauge Massif, together with a railroad. There is no need to take busy D1006 in the center of the valley, together with all the trucks. I just wish I would have found it sooner. It leads right into St Piere d'Arbigny, a very peaceful place on a Sunday afternoon, and near the school there are plenty of nice benches in deep shade for a lunch picnic.

Back to work. The road starts climbing immediately. The switchbacks seem to get longer, and even if the road is trying to get away from the big tooth above, it only does so momentarily. The next switchback brings the Dent d'Arclusaz back into focus, from just a little bit higher. The top is a small meadow bounded by forest and the start of a trail up the tooth itself.

From North. But actually this side is even more scenic. The road descends mildly and then aims like a bowling alley right for the next peak, Mont Trelod (2181m). There are fewer trees to hide the mountains on this side. And now the shape of the trees become an integral part of the landscape itself, because whatever trees there are left - now there form matters, when they stand there by themselves. A fountain to cool down and still a thirst, next to a church complementing its environment are passed in Les Lindagnes. Several tempting looking roads leave from here towards high mountain valleys. But they all are out and back rides, at least as far as pavement is concerned.

Continuing downvalley from here, the alpine character of the landscape moves more and more to the background, and the road rolls into generic forested hills, reaching a low point at the bridge in Lescheraines.

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