The Infamous Alpe d'Huez

Posted on: August 10th, 2016
Today we climbed Alpe d'Huez and the balcony road to Auris, followed by a climb back to our B&B in Venosc. It was a beautiful last ride in the Alps and France.

Alpe d'Huez is undoubtedly the most famous climb in France, in large part because its the 21 switchbacks (numbered in reverse order). Unlike most climbs, this one is the most difficult at the bottom, with the steepest sections coming through the first 5 switchbacks. After that it's not too bad as you pass through several towns before reaching the summit at the top of the ski village of Alpe d.Huez. Here's a view from near the summit looking back at where we came from - Bourg d'Oisans is at the bottom of the valley, 5,000 feet below!

After descending 2/3rds of the way back down the mountain we climbed up up the "balcony road" to Auris, a road carved into the side of a vertical cliff, about 2,500 feet above the valley floor. It's an engineering marvel that is described as one of the most frightening roads to drive in the France.

Here's a photo of Val on the balcony road with Bourg d'Oisans in the background, as well as a link to a video of us on this amazing road.

Tomorrow we'll have dinner in the old city of Lyon, and then it's the long flight home and back to reality.

Au revoir for now.

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