Mont du Chat Climb

As-Cy Mt du Chat 7 km Est

Anthospace / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Challenging mountain

The Mont du Chat climb is certainly one of the toughest on offer in the French Jura. With many kilometres in double digit gradients the leg snapping incline will certainly test out your cycling legs. The climb has featured twice in the Tour de France -most recently on stage 9 of the 2017 edition. It was on the descent of the Mont du Chat where the Australian rider Ritchie Porte crashed heavily. This is a reminder that just as you need to respect the steep gradients on the way up, the descent is equally challenging.

Gentle start to the climb

From AIx-les-Bains you will ride along the shoreline of Lac du Bourget to the start of the Mont du Chat climb at the small village of Le Bourget du Lac. If you need to top up on food or water be sure to do this before you bring the climb as this will be your last opportunity for quite a while. From here the first two kilometres of hte climb are a very gentle gradient. Enjoy them while they last as what is to follow will be anything but pretty.

Steep ramps: A defining feature of the Mont du Chat climb

The remaining 12 kilometres of the climb average out at 10%. No way about it this is a tough challenge regardless of your climbing legs. With some sustained ramps at 13% you will definitely be put to the test on this climb. The road to the top is generally traffic free and very quiet. The forest provides you with shady respite from the summer sun. Whilst there are limited views to take your mind off the climb, once at the top you will be able to see across to the peak of Mont Blanc. A just reward for your efforts.

Dangerous descent

It was on the descent of the Mont du Chat where the Australian rider Ritchie Porte crashed heavily. This is a reminder that just as you need to respect the steep gradients on the way up, the descent is equally challenging. The road conditions add to the difficulty of the descent with gravel and potholes needing to be negotiated. Once you reach the village of Bourdeau you are back on the stunning shoreline of Lac du Bourget. From here enjoy a lap of the lake back to Aix-les-Bains.

Quick Stats

Distance: 88km / 54.7mi

Start elevation: 247m / 810ft

Max elevation: 1,504m / 4,934ft

Metres climbed: 2,189m / 7,182ft

Metres descended: 2,189m / 7,182ft

Categorised climbs: 1

Avant-Pays Savoyard depuis le Mont du Chat (avril 2018)

Florian Pépellin / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Views from the paragliding launch site at the summit of Mont du Chat.

Food and water

There are several options for food and water resupply on this route. These include:

  • Aix-les-Bains (start of the ride)
  • Bourget du Lac (base of the climb)
  • Bourdeau (Bottom of the descent)

Highlights

  • Enjoy the sense of achievement from taking on one of the hardest climbs in the French Jura.

  • This route takes in a full lap of the stunning Lac du Bourget. After your efforts on the climb you may be tempted to take to the turquoise waters for a refreshing swim.
Lac du Bourget turquoise en 2018 (avec Mont du Chat)

Florian Pépellin / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Mont du Chat rises prominently from the shoreline of Lac de Bourget.

Panorama de la vallée d'Aix-les-Bains depuis le relais du Mont du Chat

Mathis73 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Mont du Chat (Le Bourget du Lac)

Length: 14.3km / 7.5mi

Average gradient: 8.9%

Start point: Le Bourget du Lac

Elevation at top: 1,504m / 4,934ft

Gradient profile of Mont du Chat from Bourget du Lac
Cluse de Chambéry et Belledonnes depuis le Mont du Chat (avril 2018)

Florian Pépellin / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Stunning views towards Chambéry and the alpine peaks as seen from the summit.

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