dangerousroads

the world's most spectacular roads

Col du Chaussy

Col du Chaussy is a high mountain pass, at an elevation of 1,533m above the sea level, in the D77B road, located in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.The road to reach the summit starts with the famous “lacets de Montvernier”, a special 3 km stretch with 17 hairpins as the road virtually climbs a cliff. It's an improbable road clinging to the edge of the cliff. It's one of the most scenic drives in the world.

The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. The Lacets de Montvernier – or Hairpins of Montvernier – are an astonishing piece of mountain road engineering. It climbs sharply via 17 hairpins tightly stacked one on top of another in just 3km.

Through a series of 17 tight corners, drivers will beat a vertical drop of 400 meters in just 3 miles away. The mountain is exactly where you do not want your brakes fail. Before leaving, check the brake fluid level and condition of your pads. 

 

After the hairpins, it’s still a very interesting climb winding up through alpine fields with a great stretch along a cliff road a few kms from the top. The road continues with quite regular slope (7-8 %) passing through the villages of le Noirey, Montbrunal et Montpascal. Ths southern side of the road is entirely paved, but very narrow. The last kilometers before the summit are badly surfaced.

In the mountains, when the road is not wide enough to allow two vehicles to pass, the vehicle going up has priority over the one that goes down. If the crossing requires a reverse, then the most maneuverable vehicle has to achieve it. Uphill, choose the 3rd or 4th gear, not more. Downhill, use your engine brake, even until 2nd downshift before starting tight turn.

There are 2 possible routes to reach the top of Col du Chaussy. Starting from La Chambre, the ascent is 14.4 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1062 heightmeters and the average percentage is 7.4 %. And from Pontamafrey, the ascent is 14 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1031 heightmeters and the average percentage is 7.4 %.

The road is asphalted. It still remains an adrenaline-pumping journey. A quick glance at the map, at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. The road is actually quite scenic and if you don’t focus only on the tarmac in front of you, you may see the ruins of an old castle. Not less than 6 years of work between 1928 and 1934 were necessary to defeat the 400 meters of ascent to connect the valley to the village of Montvernier. These small laces, stacked over each other, clinging to the mountain road is one of the most spectacular of Savoy, and a real challenge for cyclists . The upper section goes through several villages and offers panoramic views of the Belledonne Mountains.

 

 

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