MARTIGNY-SION CHALLENGETICKING OFF 9 DEUX MILLE COLS
LAC VIEUX EMOSSON (2,209)
So you decided to push your limits. The Martigny-Sion challenge to the rescue.
Starting in Martigny, you can test your legs with a 27 kilometer ride, offering 1,800 vertical meters.
Lac du Vieux Émosson is an impressive dam near the border to France, and the last couple of kilometers makes this ride worthwhile.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/lac-du-vieux-emosson/
GRAND ST BERNARD (2,473)
The Bernard climbs are really nice, if you like your gradients low and your altitudes high.
From Orsieres, it is 20 kilometers with less than 6% in average. You rarely get that from the Swiss Deux Mille climbs. Still it is two hours of climbing for most mortals.
With its 2,473 meters, Col du Grand Saint Bernard is the second highest top in Switzerland, only behind Umbrail Pass.
Climb details: Col du Grand Saint Bernard (2,473)
CROIX DE COUER (2,124)
For those familiar with Tour des Stations (La Marmotte Switzerland) Croix de Couer is most likely a love/hate experience. It is the last climb of the Grandfondo routes.
It seems harder than the numbers indicate.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/croix-de-coeur/
From Sion, there are six Deux Mille cols on the southern part of the city (and one on the northern side.) It makes Sion a hotspot for col hunting in the same way as Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
So where to start? Maybe Praz Jean, from where you can access Arolla.
This one is almost 22 kilometers, but fairly easy with gradients below 5% in average.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/arolla/
LAC DU MOIRY (2,276)
You looking for beauty? Here you go.
The tough ones do this from the main road, route 9, Chippis, but otherwise Grimentz is a popular starting point.
You have to work for your accolades. It is more 9% over 7 kilometers.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/lac-de-moiry/
Heremence is a great basecamp to tick off Mandelon, Barrage de la Grand Dixence and Thyon 2000.
Even though it is around 80-90 minutes of climbing, Mandelon is the easier of the three.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/mandelon/
BARRAGE GRAND DIXENCE (2,163)
The tallest dam in Europe. Most of the water comes from glaciers when they melt during the summer. The lake is usually at full capacity by late September, and empties during the winter, eventually reaching its lowest point around April.
From Vex, it is 1,000 vertical meters with an average gradient of 6%.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/barrage-de-la-grande-dixence/
THYON 2000 (2,083)
Another climb, which goes through or can be started at Heremence. In numbers, not a particular tough climb, but it ramps up to 20% at certain points.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/thyon-2000/
COL DU SANETSCH (2,232)
They are all very long, the Swiss ascents, aren’t they?
From Sion it is 28 brutal kilometers to the top of Col du Sanetsch. Or more than 1,700 vertical meters. That is easily more than two and half hours for most riders.
Climb details: https://www.deuxmille.cc/cols/col-du-sanetsch/