Col de la Madeleine is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.993m (6,539ft) above the sea level, located in the Alps in the department of Savoie in France. The pass is traversed by the D213 road. This is one of the more well-known of the French mountain passes, much because of the frequent visits by the Tour de France over the years. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes.
The asphalted road over the pass connects La Chambre in Maurienne with Aigueblanche and Feissons-sur-Isère in Tarentaise. It’s one of the very toughest climbs in France. The Col de la Madeleine is known since Roman times. The decision to build the current road was taken in 1949 and the inauguration took place in 1969.
This road is usually closed from November to the beginning of June but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Perched at nearly 2,000 feet, its summit offers a stunning panorama on the Mont Blanc and Lauzière massifs.
The pass has been climbed several times in the Tour of France. It’s a mountain relatively difficult to climb, especially from La Chambre where the slope is steep and relentless. The northern approach from Aigueblanche is longer but with a lower slope and some passages where you can take some rest, in particular a three kilometers descent halfway through.