Colle Esischie (2,321)


col de la cayolle cycling


Colle Esischie is a lesser-known but captivating mountain pass located in the Italian Alps, offering a distinct and serene cycling experience away from the more crowded and famous routes. This pass, connecting the Maira and Grana valleys, provides riders with an opportunity to explore a tranquil and picturesque part of the Piedmont region.

The climb to Colle Esischie typically starts from either the Maira Valley or the Grana Valley. From the Maira side, the climb is somewhat gentler, meandering through charming alpine forests and past rustic villages that illustrate the traditional Italian countryside. From the Grana side, the ascent is more challenging, with steeper gradients and tighter switchbacks that demand greater effort and skill, making it a rewarding challenge for more seasoned cyclists.

Colle Esischie stands at 2,321 meters above sea level, making it one of the higher passes in the region. The road is predominantly well-maintained, though certain stretches may offer a rougher ride, especially on the lesser-traveled Grana side. This variability in road conditions adds an element of adventure to the ascent, appealing to those who appreciate a more rugged cycling experience.

Like many alpine passes, Colle Esischie has a rich history. It has served as a traditional transit route between valleys for centuries, used by locals for trade and travel. This historical aspect adds a layer of cultural depth to the journey, connecting riders with the past as they navigate the same paths that have been used for generations.