Col de Porte

Following the center along the length of the Chartreuse Range is easily accomplished in a day. Along the way you pass through deep valleys and go over three passes, this one, and also Col du Granier and Col du Cucheron. This is the highest one of the three and exits the range in a long, steep decline into Grenoble. This section also has a lot more traffic, than what I had become used to in the Chartreuse.


1.(420m,00.0km)START-END NORTH: Saint-Laurent-Du-Pont
2.(820m,10.5km)Saint-Pierre-De-Chartreuse
3.(1326m,21.9km)TOP: Col de Porte
4.(220m,37.9km)START-END SOUTH: bridge over L'Isere in Grenoble

Approaches

From North.
The profile starts in Saint Laurent du Pont on the east side of the Chartreuse to show the maximum elevation gain. The route along the center of the valley joins in St Pierre de Chartreuse, after descending Col du Cucheron.


There are two options for the lower approach. Either stay in the bottom of the valley along the main road, or start climbing out of the valley earlier on C8. This is longer but more scenic, and you could change your mind at the last minute and ride over Col de Coq instead, because this road serves as approach for both. D57B then leads over to the main road to Col de Porte, and the scenic action is pretty much over on this side. The road stays in the forest, and reaches a top with several modern, somewhat out of place looking buildings.

From South. (described downwards) About 175 meters below the summit the road reaches a shoulder point, which is also a named pass: Col de Palaquit. The point marks a second option to descend, on a smaller road. I stayed on the main approach and traffic was much heaver than during the rest of the day. This is no surprise, because the road descends straight into the center of Grenoble. If the haze from pollution permits it, you can identify all the mountain areas that join together around this mountain city. Across the way up in the sky: the Belledonne Range, to the south, lower but with steep surrounding cliffs: the Vercors. To the east is a paved road to over 2000m in the Chamrouse Mountains area, and last but not least, the cliffs we are descending: the Chartreuse. The road does not level out until it reaches a bridge over the river Isere, adjacent to the city center.


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

both pictures are from the south side, looking over Grenoble, above in black and white haze, below of its western outskirts



Historical Notes:

Cycling: The pass is often featured in a Tour de France stage. The first time was 1907, and then the next 3 following years. During post WW2 days the pass was crossed on 13 years: 1948, 51, 58, 61-63, 65, 68, 70, 71, 78, 89 and 98. Another prominent race that crosses the pass regularly is the Criterium du Dauphine Libere (please excuse the missing accents).




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