Col de la Croix de Coeur is a high mountain pass located in the municipality of Riddes (Switzerland) at an elevation of 2.174m (7,132ft) above the sea level.
The road is certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. The route up to Croix de Coeur, starting in Verbier, is paved until about 1900 metres and the last 3 steep kilometres are gravel road, while only the very last 1-2 km are plain gravel and then very good. From the Cross there’s an amazing ridge road – completely flat – for almost 5 kilometres that heads straight towards a ski lift and big snow covered mountains.
This road is very exciting and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns. This is a big, tough climb. Roughly 1700 metres of ascent over 22 kilometres. Rarely crazy steep, but never easy. It’s a fairly stead 7-9% the entire way. The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both).
At the top of the mountain there’s a little restaurant. The first stretch to La Tzoumaz is a wide, well surfaced road. There are 5 tunnels, a few long but they are wide. The paved road ends just after La Tzoumaz after roughly 14.5 kms and 1.150 metres climb. From here, the path, though with plenty of paved remnants is basically a good quality dirt road. The road gets fun here as it winds up through the woods, among the ski slopes. It’s unprotected by guardrails.
Pic: Gregoire Vallotton