Col de la Croix winter edition




Start/Finish:  GRYON




CLIMB:  col de la croix (1778M)


Wondering how it’s like to ride a gravel bike on snow?

Our answer: it can be fun, but you need to pick your day.

This ride is part of our "Winter riding in the Alps" guide. Check it out here.

At 1’778 meters, the Col de la Croix is the highest paved pass in the Alpes Vaudoises. We live half way up it and we climb it countless times every summer. In winter, the upper section is closed to motorized traffic and the snow is groomed for skiers, hikers and snowshoers.

And cyclists? Well, it can be ridden if the conditions are right. Which is, not often. We wrote a blog story on this with all the info you need to figure out by yourself if that's something you'd like to do. You can read it here.


Friendly advice: powder is for skiing

As for the route, it’s pretty straightforward. Starting from our hometown of Gryon, the first kilometers are on tarmac until you leave Villars. From there, you enter a winter wonderland - when there is snow, that is.

The first section is fairly flat, until you reach La Verneyre. The last 4 kilometers are constantly uphill, at an average of 8 to 9%.

As this is an out and back ride, the way down is, well, the way up in the opposite direction.

Please note that the last kilometers of the Col de la Croix are primarily a cross-country ski trail. Non-skiers are allowed, but respect and caution are key. Share the road!


Keep right, snowmobiles. And bikes



Up and back down the same way

For this special occasion, I picked the following items from the Velocio range:
Top: Merino Mesh SS Baselayer and Alpha Merino Air Jacket. A magical piece of clothing made from materials used in winter sports to provide warmth where traditional cycling clothing no longer works.

Bottom: Luxe Bib Tight and the Overpant. Another Velocio specialty, halfway between winter bibs and ski pants. Thick, stretchy and with a tight fit: I don't just use it on snow, it’s the ideal companion for a muddy gravel day or a rainy road ride.

Gloves: Alpha Gloves. Another game changer with Polartec’s Alpha Direct inside, keeping my hands warm in (almost) all conditions. It only came about after 35 years of riding with frozen fingers in winter. 

I also wore the Scott Heater GTX shoes. If you ride in cold weather and have never tried winter shoes with Gore-Tex and ankle cover, do it. Now.

I used the Scott Addict Gravel Tuned, the bike that puts fun between my legs. On that day, I mounted 45mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tires and they worked like a charm.
Do you have a question about winter riding or Velocio products? Don't hesitate to email me, I'm always happy to help my fellow cyclists to face the elements with a smile. And I have a little gift in the form of a sweet discount code for those who reach out to me.

The road is part of the SwitzerlandMobility network


Winter wonderland


It's all downhill from here

Interested in a guided trip?

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