Montée de Semnoz

Standing at 1699m above sea level, and rising straight up from Annecy town itself, Semnoz truly is the giant beside the lake. 

The climb was used by the Tour in 2013 when it finsihed a top Semnoz and it is considered a hors catégorie climb. You can climb Semnoz from three different directions, and if you are feeling particularly fit, it is posssible to ride up from all three different directions in the day. 

The views from the top back to the lake are spectacular on a clear day, and there is a café at the top for respite and refreshment. 

The Climb in Detail

the mountain that the Romans called the 'salmon’ because their cartographers thought it was shaped like a fish, ”



Semnoz is the closest proper Alpine mountain to Geneva Airport. A short 45 minute transfer is all it takes to it's base. This makes it an ideal climb for those that are time poor and want to test their legs in the Alps.

The Ascents

There are three ascents to the summit of Semnoz. The easiest way to the sumit is via the Col de Leschaux. Here you snake up through the woods. The gradient is pretty stable, save for an increase about 2km from the end and the climb preceding this to the Col de Leschaux is also very gentle with nothing over 6%.

You can also climb to the top of Semnoz from Annecy town centre. This is the longest route and goes stright up the spine of the ridge. At over 17km and with ramps of over 12% this is a great way to climb Semnoz. The climb starts of snaking up through the woods, but the top section can be open and exposed. 

The final ascent is the classic tour route. Shorter and steeper for longer. Exposed throughout, and certianly the most difficult way to the summit. 

"It was quite hard to stay on top of it with 3km to go, when it sank in that I had achieved what I needed to. I couldn’t follow the wheels of the others because I was so overwhelmed by the feeling that I had done it.” - Chris Froome, 2013 3rd on Semnoz (and 1st Tour win)

Take on this iconic climb, click or search below



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