Cirque de Troumouse: a road with 31 hairpin turns
Cirque de Troumouse is a high alpine cirque located in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France.
Located in the Pyrenees, a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain, the road to the Pyrenees’ largest natural amphitheater is paved. It’s called D922. The road ends at 2.093m (6,866ft) above the sea level, on a parking lot. It’s usually crowded in summers.
It’s a very scenic road, with uncountable turns and twists. The road is narrow, the surface is rough and there are hairpins everywhere. There’s a little toll booth for motor vehicles for the last 8 km to the summit. From the péage (toll), the succession of very tight switchbacks makes for a steep climb averaging 9.5%. Starting from Gèdre, a small town, the ascent is 15.2 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.008 meters. The average percentage is 6.63%, with a 13.0% maximum gradient.
The road is usually impassable from November to June. There is very little traffic. Located in the Upper Pyrenees, the cirque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The views as you ascend are spectacular, particularly on the numerous hairpin bends towards the top. A huge theatre of cliffs and peaks surrounding rough, lake-studded ground with a raised rocky hill at its heart commands tremendous views around the cirque.