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Col de Mel

N116 manages a spectacular crossing of a ridge in the Pyrenees, even if the traffic sometimes is a little more than ideal. Its highest point is the old Vobaun fort of Mount Louis, very close to the named Col de la Perche. But actually, there are several other possible summit points in this area, all of them a little higher, that allow an almost limitless combination of loops, allowing to make whatever part you choose from the Col de la Perche route, part of your individual loop. Col de Mel is one of these summit points. It is not marked on the 1:200 thousand road maps that I have, but there is a small summit sign.

This is an obscure summit in an area of other nearby better known passes. The approaches to all of them are pretty much interchangable. I think I picked one of the more attractive approaches to each side. The obvious road pass in this area is Col de la Perche. Other possibble summit points include: Eyne s(u), Col de la Llose, Col de la Quilane and others.

1.(00.0km,0400m)START-END EAST:jct D117 - D118, north of Axat
2.(24.3km,0910m)jct with D26 to Carcanieres
3.(42.3km,1500m)Formigueres
4.(50.6km,1710m)profile turns right onto D32 at Col de la Quillane
5.(51.9km,1720m)profile turns left onto D32a
6.(53.0km,1760m)TOP: Col de Mel
7.(56.3km,1600m)profile goes right onto Route de Artigues, near Mont Louis
8.(65.2km,1590m)route goes through Bolquere
9.(78.1km,1220m)START-END WEST: jct with N20 in Ur


Approaches

From East.
The profile goes up the Aude valley from Pulvaladui towards Mt Louis. Rather than crossing the obvious high point of this route, Col de la Quialane, the profile takes a right and then a left  onto D32F and D32, climbing gradually a litte higher. The roads are surrounded by forest, with the peaks in the distance rising  above them. The gentle top is a trailhead for mountain biking and forest hiking. There is a small pass sign, complete with elevation mixed into this medley of signs.



From West. Just before the road heads back down to Mt Louis, there is a small clearing with a good view of the opposing range. Rather than following the west side down the main approach to Col de la Perche, the profile follows a recorded route that traverses along the hills and villages on the slope to the north of the main road. This is a much more pleasant bike route, and crosses many separatey accessible summit points, as well as one named pass, Col de Fau, as shoulder point



cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow


Dayride with this point as highest summit:

COMPLETELY PAVED

( < Col de Puymorens | Collado de Ordino > )

Col del Mel , Eyne s(u) : Latour de Carol > Llivia > Gaillago > N116 east > Eyne s(u) > Col de la Perche via Mt Louis s(u) <> out and back down east side of Col de la Perche via Mt Louis on N116 with turnaround point at Fontpetreuse <> separte out and back from Mt Louis to just beyond too of Col de la Llose >> Col de la Quilane(shp) > D32f west > D32 south > Col del Mel > Route des Artiques east > Bolguelles > Col de Fau(shp) > Targasonne > Or > back to starting point in Latour de Carol: 64.4m with 6097ft of climbing in 6;25hrs (garmin etrex30 r5:19.5.14).