The Route des Lacs is one of the world’s most beautiful passes for cycling, set against jagged mountain peaks, lush greenery, cascading waterfalls and some 70 lakes.
It is also one of the highest paved roads in the Hautes Pyrenees, and yet despite all that remains less known than the more iconic peaks of the Pyrenees like the Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin or Hautacam.
Mike Cotty is ensuring that will be less so now though, having led the way up the climb for their latest video instalment from the Col Collective.
Gentle for the first 9.5km, Cotty says the three switchbacks – Lacets des Ecureuils, Lacet des Myrtilles and Lacet des Edelweiss – are the key markers for gauging your effort.
“This may be an ‘out and back’ route but it’s one that will enrich your soul, put you back in the present and instil the simple feeling of freedom within,” he adds.
“On a clear blue day I can think of few better places to be on the planet but, to be honest, not even the autumn rain could spoil the moment such is the mystique of the the Route des Lacs and sensational Cap-de-Long.”
Check out the video above, or see more from the Col Collective here.
Elevation gain: 1,361
Average gradient: 5.9%
Max gradient: 13%