Hautacam Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

8.8
FIETS
8.5 mi
DISTANCE
3,542 ft
GAINED
7.8 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

Hautacam - a spectacular climb and TdF favorite within kilometers of the climbing mecca of Argelès-Gazost. The climb will be in Stage 18 of this year's 2022 Tour de France

The ski resort finish at the Hautacam is the last categorized climb of the tour and thus will decide the KOM competition.  PJAMM will be there at the top this summer to document the action! 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
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Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
For those looking to stay in the area we would recommend the Pyrenees Cycling Lodge. Located in the beautiful medieval village of Saint Savin and hosted by Mark & Niamh, the Lodge is run by cyclists for cyclists. It is a great location for any cycling adventure in the Pyrenees with several renowned climbs within 100km of the property and 6 Tour de France climbs within 15km. Visit their website or contact them directly at pyreneescyclinglodge@gmail.com .

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Strenuous
4
Road
4.3
Traffic
4
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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MEMBER REVIEWS & COMMENTS

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Nov 10, 2022
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 5
traffic: 5
road: 4
Nov 10, 2022
scenery: 5
traffic: 5
road: 4
It's hard but not impossible. If you do it on summer time, start it early in the morning since it's on west side of the mountain so in the morning you won't probably have the direct sun heating. There are fuw hard points but not so hard, in any case it's not for dummies. Beautiful view at the top!
Oct 9, 2021
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 4
traffic: 4
road: 4
Oct 9, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 4
road: 4
Beginners guide : I started road cycling in May and completed this climb in Oct ,I am in my sixties proving with the right preparation a beginner can climb one of the toughests ascents in the Pyrenees. It is a relatively short climb but very demanding . The route takes you through some very pretty French villages and you will have beautiful views as you work your way up.It is more about the journey than the destination. as the TdF finish is a big carpark but continue up to Tramassel for better views.!Tips: do the hard work in the months/ weeks leading up to your climb. You are almost a mile above sea level and it can be very cold particularly on the descent. Yet in the valley it will be considerably hotter, a selection of layers is the answer. pace yourself and really use those limited easy gradients to recover and prepare for the next 12 or 15 % section. Go at your own pace and don't be tempted to keep up with better riders or chase the cyclist in front.If I did it then so can you!
Jun 26, 2021
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 4
Jun 26, 2021
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 4
This is one of the harder climbs in the Pyrenees, especially if you do not like constant changes in gradient. If you make it to Hautacam, you may as well continue on further up the road to the Col de Trammasel.
Apr 23, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 4
traffic: 4
road: 4
Apr 23, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 4
road: 4
A great climb. You can "choose your own adventure" to some extent - the gradient varies in a fairly rhythmic fashion, allowing you to either take it easier as it levels out, or to use those sections to pick up seconds if you're chasing a time target. Traffic wasn't bad when I climbed it (late August), and drivers were generally respectful with their distance and speed. Not the most amazing views in the Hautes Pyrenees, but a pretty place to top out and enjoy conquering one of the great HC climbs of the TdF.
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Hautacam, ski resort and col de Tramassel sign

Hautacam - one of the great ski resort TdF summit finishes of the Pyrenees . .

. . . with Superbagneres, Luz d’Ardiden and Pla d’Adet

photo collage - bike parked against roadsign for Hautacam; start of climb

Climb start - Intersection of D13 and Route du Hautacam. 

Hautacam is a beast of a climb, averaging 7.9% (8.4% climb only) for nearly 14 kilometers, with a 500 meter segment at 12.8% and 1 kilometer at 11.1% average grade.

Photo collage shows PJAMM Cycling's climb up Huatacam; old stone drinking faucet, country road signs, lush green pastureland and single lane roadway

Photos early in the climb.

The climb is on a well maintained two lane road that has little traffic and lots of ranch animals.

horses along the roadway

Along the way we encounter some spectacular free-range horses, and . . .

donkeys

photo collage shows six road markers, each marking kilometers along the climb

Road markers each kilometer.

Photos are in sequence clockwise from top left.

Kilometer number designates kilometers to the finish.

photo collage shows six road markers, each marking kilometers along the climb

Kilometer markers 6 to 1.

road sign for Col du Tramassel at dusk

Continue past the TdF finish 1.5 km to Col du Tramassel - Strava Segment.

aerial drone view of the beginning of the ascent to Col de Tramassel, the traditional Tour de France finish, and the final 4 hairpins before the finish

John Johnson with bike on Hautacam - Tour de France sign

We preceded the 2014 Tour by two weeks.

sunrise on Hautacam ride in 2018

Early Bird special June 2018.

Hautacam has been featured in the Tour six times since 1994 (1994, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2014, and Stage 18 in 2022).  Since Hautacam has no outlet, the stage always finishes at the top of the mountain,  near the parking lot at the ski resort.  While one of the more difficult climbs of the Tour, Hautacam is not one of the most scenic.  

This mountain first appeared in Stage 11 of the 1994 Tour.  Luc Leblanc was the first Tour racer win a Hautacam stage.  

I suppose we could call Hautacam “EPO Hill” since its first four winners were all found to have doped during the time in their career when they dominated Hautacam - Luc Leblanc 1994 (Festina - enough said; admitted to doping after retirement), 1996 Stage 16 and Tour champion - Bjarne Riis (too dominant at age 32 after a mediocre career - later admitted to cheating). 2000 Stage 10 - Lance Armstrong (enough said), and 2008 Stage 10 - Leonardo Piepoli (expelled later in the tour for a positive drug test).

Not so fast Leonardo . . .

Leonardo Piepoli won Stage 10 but he and his entire team stepped out of the race after Stage 11.

Piepoli was stripped of the stage win after two positive tests for CERA (an EPO).

The only pure stage winner is Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, winner of Stage 18 in 2014 (winner TdF 2014, Giro 2013, 2016, Vuelta 2010, Milan-San Remo 2018, Giro di Lombardia 2015, 2017).

Stage 18 - final mountain stage - Nibali wins by 01’12” over Thibaut Pinot

TdF 2014 Champion - 07’37” over Jean-Christophe Péraud

Photo:  Zimbio.com

Year

Stage

Start of stage

Distance (km)

Category of climb

Stage winner

Yellow jersey

2014

18

Pau

145.5

HC

 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)

 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)

2008

10

Pau

156

HC

 Juan José Cobo (ESP)

 Cadel Evans (AUS)

2000

10

Dax

205

HC

 Javier Otxoa (ESP)

 Lance Armstrong (USA)

1996

16

Agen

199

HC

 Bjarne Riis (DEN)

 Bjarne Riis (DEN)

1994

11

Cahors

263.5

HC

 Luc Leblanc (FRA)

 Miguel Indurain (ESP)

(Wikipedia - Hautacam)

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