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Col de la Croix de Fer - Barrage du Verney     open your myclimbbybike to add this climb

27.53 km  2064 m  (1292 m)  4.7 %


The col de la Croix de Fer links the Maurienne en Savoie valley to those of Romanche en Isère. It's a very long and irregular col. When you reach the crossroad with the Glandon, you can make a small detour of 1,5 km to reach the top of the Croix the Fer and to enjoy the view. Note that the climb is closed from the beginning of November to the beginning of May.

The Col de la Croix de Fer is situated in Rhone-Alpes. This climb belongs to the Alps. The Col de la Croix de Fer via Barrage du Verney is ranked number 507 of the Alps. The climb is ranked number 259 in France and number 1337 in the world. Starting from Barrage du Verney, the Col de la Croix de Fer ascent is 27.53 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1292 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 4.7 %. If you want to climb the Col de la Croix de Fer, you can find more information on how to train to climb the Col de la Croix de Fer here.

Since 2005, the Col de la Croix de Fer will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2017 :  La Mure - Serre Chevalier on 19/07/2017

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Climbbybike difficulty score (107.6)
Ranking Alps
Ranking France

Col de la Croix de Fer via Barrage du Verney popularity rank : 11

The Col de la Croix de Fer has been climbed by 127 climbbybikers. It is ranked No. 11 as the most climbed climb in the world.
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Col de la Croix de Fer via Barrage du Verney: 12 reviews

steven herrick

I rode Croix de Fer on a lovely early summer''s day. It''s certainly long and steep in sections, and the up and down middle section can be disheartening, but the final section is just glorious. Alpine meadows, a winding road, sheep, the lake, the iron cross on top and, of course, the amphitheatre of surrounding snow-capped mountains. One of my favourite rides. To see my full report, visit my blog - dothebikething

David Robertson

Climbed this one in September 2011 on a warm 30C day. We found it to be pretty tough and it felt very long however the scenery in the second half especially made it all worthwhile. We had done Alpe d''Huez earlier in the day so perhaps we were a bit tired but I am very surprised it is onloy a 3 star - I reckon it is harder than Ventoux for example (and I have done that from both sides). A great climb.

David Price

This is a great col which will challenge your resolve. The bottom section is steep for a long way - the wooded shade is a God-send. After the first descent, you will hit an even steeper section but there is stunning scenery to take your mind off it! Another short descent/steep section and you will arrive, eventually, at the dam - it is a far easier proposition from here; in the saddle, tap away on easier gradients and enjoy the different landscape than that of the slopes below. You can see the summit from some distance which will help you to keep focus and rhythm. Definitely one to tick off.

Tim Fuller

My ride started in Bourg DOisan on a fairly cloudy day in the middle of June (2010). I had ridden the Galibier and Alpe DHuez the previous days and wanted to do this climb and took a chance on the weather. The main road from Bourg is fairly busy with some cycle lanes until you turn off on the valley road to the start of the climb proper. Climb up the dam and some flat road until the climb really kicks in up through the forest. The length of the climb is what makes it special. Also the irregularities set it apart particularly the 12% descent a third of the way up which off course you will have to climb later with cold and uncooperative legs! The rest of the climb was beautiful, just stunning scenery. The final few kms can be seen ahead of you but are further than it looks. 2.28 to the summit from Bourg and a further 1.09 back down in the rain including that 12% climb! Hard but very rewarding and a must if you are in the area.


We climbed this col in the ciclotourist race ""La Marmotte"", it´s not hard as Galibier or La Madeleine but is one of may favorites because of the landscapes, is an authentic col Hors Categorie, due to its lenght.

Anthony Lue

Climbed the Croix de Fer from Allemont (Barrage du Verney) on July 21, 2008 as part of a 16 day cycling vacation in the French Alps. This is a very irregular climb, with numerous undulations and flat sections. Although the Croix is not the hardest of the climbs perhaps (with hindsight) it is the most scenic. The first section from Allemont meanders thru a forest until you crest a false summit and unexpectedly you descend into a valley. From here the forest thins out, the heat and humidity takes its toll (typical in July) and again, unexpectedly, the slope increases dramatically. It does level out after a few miles, then its a long hard grind to the Barrage du Maison. To see a man made lake at 5,000 framed with the towering peaks and clear blue sky was breathtaking (or was it the effort?). At this point, the road is fairly straight where you can see how long you have left to climb, not good for the morale. But 2 hrs 15 mins. from the start (no stops), Success!! All in all - a beautiful climb - distance, a shade over 18 miles (29 kms), that alone made the trip worthwhile. Cheers.

Peter Haley

Climbed in late June 2007. We thought it was a relatively easy col at an average of just less than 5% after having done Alpe d Huez the day before. We were in for a shock. Maybe our legs were a bit tired but Mark from St Helens describes the ride beautifully. Luckily the last third (from the Grande Barrage) is the easiest. My memories are the solitude, a lone shepherd with his sheep, the flies (even though the temperature was in single figures) and the worlds best omelette at the Chalet du Glandon (my mate had forgotten to bring any food with him and I had to share mine - by the time we got to the Glandon we were cold and ravenous).


We climbed this col from both sides, harder than expected (particularly from St Jean de Mauriennes). 30 km is a long ascent, with relatively few easier parts. The climb out of the village of St Sorlin dArves is quite a challenge (over 10 percent). Great fun though.


Im surprised there are no stories about this col. I rode it in late May 2008 and it is a great ride. I had studied it on Google Earth and my road atlas. But nothing can prepare you for the reality. When the climbing starts it comes relentlessly. I had trained in England regularly on gradients of 12 - 16 % and even 20%. So why did this feel so hard? The first sction seems to go on a long way, shaded by trees, to a village and welcome respite. Then, cruelly, the road descends a series of hairpins - height that you must immediately make up again, starting with the steepest section of the route. The climbing persists up past another series of hairpins and then eases for a while. The scenery opens out and you can see the road stretching far, far ahead. There must be an optical illusion because the gradient looks easy all the way to the top - it isnt. But you really are in the mountains now and I enjoyed the wonderful solitude up to a deserted col. On the way back I turned off to the Glandon which really must be the easiest tick there is when done this way. It must be all of three pedal turns to the top! Then its a fantastic swoop all the way back - except of course, for those six hairpins back to Riviere dAllemande.

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