THE GRAND COLOMBIER
In the south of the Jura mountains, the Grand Colombier (1534m high) overlooks lake Bourget and the Rhône river. It is the summit of the Bugey and the cross in its top can be seen from almost everywhere in the region.
For a long time, pedestrians used to enjoy this walk. At the top of the Grand Colombier you can admire: in the East the Swiss Jura, the Mont Blanc range, some Italian peaks, the Vanoise mountains, the Belledonne mountains; in the West expand the mountains of Bugey, the Dombes region and its thousand ponds, the plain of the Ain, the mountains of Beaujolais and Lyonnais, the Pilat mountains and the Rhone valley. We can also see the sparkling waters of the three great alpine lakes (Annecy, Geneva, Bourget). Since the beginning of the 70's, a road allows the passage of the "Grand Colombier pass" (1501m) where a path leads to the cross and to the viewpoint indicator. When the weather is fine, tourists are querring up to this place, which offers one of the best panoramas in the north Jura.
In the South-West : Artemare - Virieu le Petit - Granges de Fromentel - Colombier
D 31 - D 69 - D 120
length 15,9 km - slope 1243 m
average slope 7,81 % - maximum slope 22 %
This way is the steepest (19 % over 1,5 km -
12 % average over 4,5 km after Virieu le Petit). The road is often shade by firs.
In the North-East : Champagne - Lochieu - Granges de Fromentel - Grand Colombier
69f - D 69b - D 120
length 19,2 km - slope 1042 m
average slope 6,75 % - maximum slope 14 %
the easiest road. Even if there is a descent in the beginning, don't forget the 14% section after Lochieu. The slope is often in the shade of firs.
In the South-East : Culoz-Carrefour D 120 - D 120a - Grand Colombier
length 18,3 km - slope 1262 m
average slope 6,89 % - maximum slope 14 %
The road is hewn in the rock, the heat is awful, but the view is wonderful from the very start of the slope. A smooth section halfway up gives time to get breath back between two 14 % sections.
In the North-East : Anglefort-Carrefour D120a - D120 - Grand Colombier
D 120a - D 120
length 15,7 km - slope 1221 m
average slope 7,77 % - maximum slope 14 %
This is the way the least known but the steepest . There is some shade at the beginning and there is a difficult slope without "injury time" that makes it fearsome.
Shops and watering place in the beginning of every face. There are two inns close to the top (one on each face). Fountains in each village and in the Granges de Fromentel.
TO COME AT THE START
Michelin roadmap 74, page 5 - IGN Map n°44 or 3330O
¤ From Lyon (90 km) and Bourg en Bresse (80 km): motorway A42, exit Ambérieu en Bugey, then D 1504 and D 904
¤ From Chambéry (50 km) : D 1504 and D 904
Virieu le Grand or Culoz .
THE BROTHERHOOD - STATUTE
The brotherhood of the "Fêlés du Grand Colombier" is open to everyone who is at least 18 years old, climbing, in the same day, two, three or four faces, there and back, of the Grand Colombier by different sides riding (or pushing!) a bicycle propelled by the one and only muscular force..
The rider who achieves :
¤ two ascents (one on each estern et western slopes) will become a MEMBER.
¤ three ascents: MASTER.
¤ four ascents: GREAT MASTER
The cyclist, who hopes to achieve more than four ascents had better should think about it before...!
HOW TO JOIN
You will have to send inscription bill and 10€ to the corresponding for the checking card + the certificate .By return of post, the candidate will receive a checking card, he would have it checked off, and he would have to indicate the time when he wants to pass through.
It's possible to pay by international transfer. Contact me by email to know our bank details.
Careful: To ensure receiving your checking card on time, please send your inscription bill at least 2 weeks before your attempt.
Nevertheless, if you decide at the very last minute to attempt it, contact me by email in order I can send you back a printable documentation. Your request for inscription shall anyway be received before your attempt. All attempt realized without inscription before can not be validated.
PLACES TO CHECK OFF - Four solutions to validate your road map:
1 / By buffering in a shop or administration:
At the start of each side: Artemare-Culoz-Champagne-Anglefort:
Stores - Post office - Town hall, etc...
At the top (only one compulsory check):
At the traveling snack bar at the top of the pass (open every day from 11 a.m. from May to September)
2 / With photos (in addition, it makes memories ...):
Take pictures of the starting villages and one at the top. For digital photos, send them to me by Email.
3 / By pointing:
You will find red plastic "orienteering" type punching pliers clips on the back of the signs indicating the start of each climb. You can use them to certify your passage.
You will find those signs:
¤ In Artemare at the crossroads in the city center (in front of the bar "le Staff")
¤ In Champagne at the crossroads between the D30 and the D69f (route de Lochieu) at the northern exit of the village.
¤ In Culoz: in front of the "Maison du Vélo". Please note, the clip is attached to the wall of the "Maison du Vélo".
¤ At Anglefort: at the start of the Colombier road north of the village.
¤ At the top of the Colombier, a clip is attached to the back of the sign indicating the pass.
4 / By GPS reading:
You can attach acopy of your GPS statement to the route map.
It is of course possible to "mix" the types of score. In any case, do not forget to indicate your time of passage on the map (remember to take a pencil).
The equipment must anable you ranging to pass through, several times percentages from 14% to 22%, for slopes as well as for descents (don't forget to check your brakes). Don't forget the lightning if the departure is made by night and prepare some good shoes, they might be very useful ...!
The entrants must respect the highway code and the possible banning of circulation, they must, if it is necessary, possess a lightning in accordance to the norm. Because of the high percentage, it is not advisable to take the descent betwen "les granges de Fromentel" and "Virieu le Petit", so we recommend to go towards Lochieu and to turn on the right when you are in the "Bordézes" to join "Virieu le Petit". The entrants are strictly obliged to possess a National insurance. In the event of an accident, the brotherhood leader's responsability could not be involved. The road is usually open from Easter to the first snows (end of october). If you are afraid of finding snowbound roads, ring the tourist office of Culoz (04 79 87 00 30)
After the return of his stamped checking card, the new member will receive a numbered certificate, which is the proof of his rank inside the brotherhood.
Information in the tourist office :
¤ Culoz - Artemare - Champagne en Valromey - Belley
¤ Anglefort - Culoz
¤ Chautagne - Aix les Bains
¤ Plateau d'Hauteville