|Col de la Croix de Cœur/Col des Établons|
|2174m||1640m - 29.5 km (Le Brocard); 1483m - 20.8 km (Sembrancher)
1369m - 17.6 km (Vollèges); 1353m - 15.6 km (Le Châble)
1706m - 21.7 km (Riddes); 1692m - 21.2 km (Riddes centre)
1696m - 23.1 km (Bieudron via short gravel)
1690m - 25.7 km (Aproz via short gravel)
1690m - 26.5 km (Aproz all asphalt)
|4 (5)||4 (5)|
|How to get there||
From the southwest one could start either at Le Brocard (556m) if coming down from Col de la Forclaz (1527m) (and use the shortcut road). Or one could start higher up at Sembrancher (713m) if coming down the Col du Grand St-Bernard (2469m). Or at Vollèges (827m) if coming down from the nice Col du Lein/Pas du Lin (1686m) or finally from Le Châble (821m) if one has been up at the Lac de Mauvoisin (1976m), 19.4 km up the valley.
From Le Châble one climbs in nice serpentines up a somewhat busy road to Verbier (1490m). It is not obvious of how to continue up, but sort of follow the serpentines as they go higher through the town and you will probably be on the right road (there is an extremely small sign in the city suggesting the road choice at one point). Well out of the village the road get more narrow. (Do not turn right at the last junction as that road ultimately goes to Col de Gentianes (2890m), which may not be practicable with a road bike). The road continues among trees for a short while and soon thereafter it was a steep gravel road with wooden drainage gullies to the top, but it has now been all asphalted since they built the café/restaurant at the top. This part is the hardest.
The road is partly tarmacced on the upper north side and the gravel part is perhaps only 2-3 km and where it is not so steep. One could start the climb in Riddes (468m or 482m) and this climb should be quite hard as it is only a little over 21 km long for 1700 height metres. The alternative possible climb up from Aproz (484m) via Isérables is likely not easier even if longer, at least not if going the short-cuts over the gravel sections in the map, but one could also take the slightly longer asphalt road that joins the Riddes road before La Tsoumaz. There is also a curious shorter road up at Bieudron (478m) that may in part be gravel early on that soon joins the Aproz road.
|Other comments||It is a very beautiful pass and nice road alternative if going from the Col du Grand St-Bernard up the Valais valley or the other way around. This pass might well become properly tarmacced on the Riddes side any day as it seems very popular and maybe on the Verbier side too considering how the place is growing (! and now it has been asphalted on the Verbier side). I have went both times on a higher road on the north side via Les Crettaz to Haute-Nendaz, using the partly gravel short-cut from La Tsoumaz (which is a great one), so therefore I do not know the full climbs first hand on this side.
[CH-VS-2173, BIG 576]