On 9-13-2018, several of my friends and I decided to tackle Luz-Ardiden based on one of the shop employees at Ardiden Velo in Luz-St-Sauveur telling us how remote feeling it is. He was spot on in that regard. We only saw a dozen cars the whole climb, and saw 100's of sheep grazing on the open upper slopes. Our group of 5 found the climb to be challenging enough with several 8-8.5-9% grades until it eases on the last 1k. The climb is tougher at a realistic 7.7% average than some state at 6.9%, due to they include the almost 1k downhill from Luz-St-Sauveur. During the climb, the fog came in and it became very cold, damp and all views were unfortunately obscured. The descent , while chilly, was fast and fun. Also, nothing was open at the ski station. I see one other had noted to make sure you go left at the upper split. We went right (thinking a sign that showed a coffee cup that direction) may be the best choice. It was not, so we had to go back down 1K and take the proper route, but did get in an extra 2K's of riding. :-) Looking at the many sites online regarding the upper switchbacks and views....it seems we missed out on it's true beauty that day. A climb definitely worth doing.
- 4/6/2020 6