Mont du Chat, one of the toughest (paved) climbs in France
Mont du Chat (Cat Mountain) is a brutal mountain pass at an elevation of 1.504m (4,934ft) above the sea level, located in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It’s said to be one of the toughest (paved) climbs in France, with a 15% gradient in parts.
Located in the Jura Mountains, the pass is traversed by the D42 road. It’s paved. The summit hosts a telecommunications tower, a tiny parking lot and a little bar. It’s one of France's toughest, most unrelenting climbs, averaging nearly 9% for a full 14,4km; after the first two km it never relents below 8% again. Its reputation is fierce and its aura is great. It’s one of the most redoubtable climbs in France with terrifying steepness. It starts very low (250 metres) beside beautiful Lac (lake) du Bourget and finishes at about 1,500 metres. The roadway on both sides of the col is in excellent condition and there is very little traffic on either side.
The pass has been used in the Tour de France and the Critérium du Dauphiné cycling races. There are 2 routes to reach the summit. Starting from Yenne, the ascent is 17 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.264 meters. The average percentage is 7.4 %. And starting from Le Bourget du Lac, the ascent is 14.3 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.266 meters. The average percentage is 8.9 % with one stretch of 300 metres at 13%.