This route will take you over the little known Col des Spandelles to then climb the northern ascent of the Col du Soulor. Whilst short on distance it is a challenging ride nonetheless with just under 2000m of climbing all up.
From Argeles Gazost the climb to Spandelles is 16kms long with an average gradient of just under 6%. This climb is a great option during the summer heat as the majority of the climb winds up through an alpine forest. Indeed the views don't really appear until you begin to reach the top and head over the other side. The road is very quiet, narrow and you will find it also not as well maintained as other more famous climbs in the area. Be mindful of potholes and a rough surface – especially on the descents.
This side of the Soulor may not be as popular as the side from Arrens Marsous, but it is simply spectacular. Right from the get go you will find yourself climbing with the most stunning of mountain vistas for company. As you near the top of the climb the road to Aubisque and the Cirque du Litour comes into view. A magic reward for all the effort you have put in to get this far. As with a lot of the Pyrenean climbs, you can also expect to see herds of sheep or cows along the route as well as donkeys and horses as you reach the summit. This is all part of the experience of riding in this part of the Pyrenees.
Once at the top of Soulor you will find a small cafe which offers a good opportunity to replenish your supplies. A smooth fast flowing descent off the other side of Soulor and back to your starting point at Argeles Gazost is your reward after a short challenging route.
Distance: 56.6km / 35.2mi
Start elevation: 470m / 1,541ft
Max elevation: 1,474m / 4,836ft
Metres climbed: 1,979m / 6,494ft
Metres descended: 1,979m / 6,494ft
Categorised climbs: 2
A herd of sheep at the summit of the Col du Soulor
Food and water is available in several villages on this route, including Ferrières, at the summit of the Col du Soulor as well as Arrens Marsous.
A very friendly donkey at top of the Col du Soulor.
Length: 16.2km / 10.07
Average gradient: 5.9%
Start point: Argeles Gazost
Elevation at top: 1,378m / 4,521ft
Length: 12.1km / 7.52mi
Average gradient: 7.56%
Start point: Ferriéres
Elevation at top: 1,474m / 4,836ft