Col de la Croix de Fer, at an elevation of 2.067m (6,781ft) above the sea level, is a high mountain pass in the French Alps linking Maurienne in Savoie valley to those of Romanche in Isère. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes.
The pass has featured in the Tour de France several times since it was first passed in the 1947 tour when the race was led over the summit by Fermo Camellini and organizers wanted to add a little difficulty to a stage before climbing Col du Galibier via Télégraphe.
The route is undulating on both sides with short downhill sections when you climb with high mountains views on both sides full of waterfalls from melting snow. It’s a little more than 1,500 metres in ascent (+5,000 feet) although only 1,300 top to bottom with a couple of short but steep descents.
There are 2 possible routes to reach the summit. Starting from Barrage du Verney, the ascent is 27.53 km long with an elevation gain of 1.292 meters and an average percentage of 4.7 %. And starting from Saint Jean de Maurienne, the ascent is 30 km long with an elevation gain of 1.522 meters and an average percentage of 5.1 %.