Location: Savoie department, Rhône-Alpes, France
Length: 17 km
Width: 5 m, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 5
Highest point: 1533 m
Route: La Chambre to Pontamafrey-Montpascal
Col du Chaussy Road Description
The Col du Chaussy is located in the Savoie department, in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It’s a high mountain pass located at an elevation of 1,553 m.
What’s so special about the Col du Chaussy road is the famous lacets de Montvernier, a 3 km long section featuring 17 hairpins, as the road climbs to the top. This is what makes it one of the most scenic drives in the world and a must-drive road for any driving enthusiast.
You can reach the Col de Chaussy by taking one of the following routes. You can start from La Chambre, where the ascent is 14,4 km long, and it features a 1062 heightmeters elevation gain or from Pontamafrey. The ascent has similar features, with a 14 km long ascent and a 1031 heightmeters in elevation gain.
Even though the road is asphalted, it’s an adrenaline-pumping route, perfect for the thrill seekers. That’s because it has serpentine twists and turns and plenty of hairpin curves. Through these tight corners, there is a 400 meters drop. Passing the hairpin section, the climb will take you through alpine fields, and it will continue on a regular slope, passing through villages such as Le Noirey, Montbrunal et Montpascal, offering quite a scenic drive.
The southern part of the road is paved and very narrow, making the last kilometers before the summit badly surfaced.
When reaching the mountains, the road is not wide enough for two vehicles. So, when two cars meet, the one going up has priority over the ones going down. As a suggestion, if you drive on this road, use the 3rd of 4th gear, while downhill, you should use the engine break, and the 2nd downshift before a tight turn. Also, when approaching Montvernier, the climbing will get tougher, and there is no break until reaching the summit. Kilometer 12 is the trickiest part since it has flatter sections, followed by steep gradients. Montpascal is just a few kilometers away from the summit, and it means that the destination is near.
A scenic drive
Overall, the road is scenic and offers many sightseeing opportunities. For instance, you can see the ruins of an old castle, and that’s besides the fantastic views of the sharp cliffs, followed by the alpine landscape. The upper section of this route will show you spectacular and panoramic views of the Belledonne Mountains.
It encompasses many stunning views seen from every twisty hairpin curve, high elevations and steep grades. After the ascent and a total gain of 1.000 m altitude with an average gradient of 8%, you will see that the view is stunning and not only driving on the hairpins will take your breath away. The whole road of Col du Chaussy is an astonishing piece of mountain road engineering. Even if the road is challenging, it’s worth it for the unique experience it offers.
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