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Col de Romeyere

This is a pass in the northeastern part of the Vercors Plateau, which is part of the "Prealps". It crosses the first big hogback ridge on the edge of this plateau. Its specialty is a 500 meter long, dark tunnel below a limestone wall, and a short incised canyon section. This is a small remote road with very little traffic, but there are yet narrower, more remote paved roads in this area.

1.(00.0km,0200m) START-END NORTH: St Gervais le Poret
2.(09.8km,0810m)tunnel entrance
3.(14.5km,1074m)TOP:Col de Romeyere
4.(20.0km,0810m)Rencurel
5.(33.3km,0370m)upper jct with road to Col de Toutes Aures
6.(34.5km,0250m)lower jct with road to Col de Toutes Aures
7.(37.4km,0190m) START-END SOUTH: low point north of Pont en Royans


Approaches

From West.
You can approach St-Gervais-Le-Port on a bike path from Grenoble. It follows the river l'Isere. After turning west and crossing the river, little D55 goes past the small local school and starts climbing immediately. The switchbacks seam to head for the base of an unclimbable limestone cliff. And in the end it will remain unclimbed. Signs along the road point out obligatory lighting for hikers and cyclists alike. That's a hint. At the base of the limestone cliff waits a 500 meter unlit tunnel. Since it is in a curve, it guarantees total darkness for at least a short stretch of the way.

But before plunging into the tunnel : what is this? A remnant of an old road road leads around the tunnel , under dangerous looking overhanging rock, bordered by dramatic drop offs. However it turns out to be impassable for cyclists or hikers. After a short distance it becomes all too apparent, that part of the road has been completely eroded, leaving no discernible path along the cliff.

But now for the tunnel: It can be negotiated with the light of a cell phone, at least walking. That's what I did, but it would have been more fun and less dangerous with a real dependable light. But this is not the top yet. The tunnel only traverses the initial hogback along the Vercors plateau. On the other side the road turns 90 degrees and follows a shelf road on the edge of a small incised canyon. This section is short and spectacular, but it still does not reach the top. The final part is a long straight traverse along a high wooded ridge. Plateau climbs often seem to end less dramatic, than what was encountered along the way, and this one is a good example.

At the top are several rustic buildings, serving a small ski hill, a restaurant and various trail heads. It all blends perfectly into the landscape.




left: descending the Gorge de la Bourne is one option for a lower approach to this pass



below left:
this tunnel at the top is not lit










top right:
starting to climb above St Jervai Le Port

left: descending through Rencurrel












From East. (described downwards). A curving roll leads through the village Rencurel. At the junction with the road to Lans en Vercors the traffic picks up. The church in Rencurrel makes the perfect visual focal point in front of the giant step of cliffs. At the next junction the profile continues downhill. An extended deep limestone canyon section through the Gorge de la Bourne follows, again with several alcove overhangs. I included a picture of this spectacular canyon section on this page. But it can serve as lower approach to many summit rides.

Several km before reaching Pont-en-Royans, I could not resist another even smaller, yet immaculately paved road, climbing to Col de Croix de Toutes Aures. But the profile continues downhill beyond "Pont" to Auberrives en Royan.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow


Dayride with this point as highest summit:

COMPLETELY PAVED:

( < | Tunnel du Morrier > )

Col de Romeyere , Col de Toutes Aures s(u) : St Gervais le port > Col de Romeyere > Rencurel > Croix de Toutes Aures s(u) <> Presles > down D58 > D1532 north back to starting point: 48.9miles with 5530ft of climbing in 5:26rs (garmin etrex30 r5:19.5.20)