Lac de Cleuson Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Lac de Cleuson


One of the many challenging and beautiful climbs in the Swiss Canton of Valais.

Page Contributor(s): Ard Oostra, Montreux, Switzerland

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Climb Summary

Cycling Lac de Cleuson

Ride 25.3 kilometers gaining 1,603 meters at 6.3% average grade.

This is another of the many spectacular bike climbs in the Swiss Rhone Valley and Valais Canton.  And why so many climbs up steep mountains in those parts - (a) dams/hydroelectric, (b) skiing/ski resorts and (c) glaciers.

Th Super-Nendaz Ski Resort is about half way up our route to the dam.

This extraordinary bike climb begins at the hub of the greatest bike climbing area in the world, Sion.  Thus, Sion is by default the greatest bike climbing hub in the world.  Sion is also the biggest city in the area at an approximate 34,000 inhabitants. Here is a link to PJAMM’s Valais Cycling Adventure Page for this area which includes lodging and things to do in Sion.

It doesn’t hurt to get an early start.

Views between the start and the dam.

Arriving at the base of the dam.

View of the dam from its base.

The dam is 87 meters (285’) high.

Water from Lac de Cleuson reservoir are pumped into Lac des Dix, the tallest gravity dam in the world.

PJAMM Barrage de la Grande Dixence climb.

View down from the top of the dam to the pumping station.  

Views on top of the dam.

Cleuson Lake is known for its beautiful turquoise water color.

The dam is 400 meters long.

Chapelle catholique de Cleuson (Saint-Barthélémy)

“On the shores of Lake Cleuson, at an altitude of nearly 2200m, the chapel is the highest in the town. It dominates the Nendaz valley and the panorama extends to the chain of the Bernese Alps. This is the oldest chapel in Nendaz. The exact date of its construction is unknown, but a document from 1447, signed by the bishop of Sion, mentions that 40 days of indulgence would be granted to anyone who gave alms to the chapel. This suggests that the building predates this date. Before the construction of the dam, it was located in the valley of Cleuson, on the right bank, slightly upstream.

Built in wood, it has been renovated several times, the last time in 1888. In 1951, dam workers built a new stone chapel in the current location.”  (Source: Nendaz tourisme)

Thank you Ard Oostra, Montreux, Switzerland.