Col de Marie Blanque - Escot Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

5.4
FIETS
5.7 mi
DISTANCE
2,332 ft
GAINED
7.7 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Carl Hansen, Guernsey, UK

INTRO

The Col de Marie Blanque from Escot starts by meandering through several small villages at a fairly calm gradient. The fun really starts with about 4k to the top with 10%+ gradients for much of the rest of the climb.
Depending on where you are based for this climb, you can also try some of the other challenging climbs in the area such as the Port de Larrau and the Col de la Pierre St. Martin.


See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
Roadway: The roadway is in good shape up to the col.

Traffic: There is very little traffic.

Parking: You can park near the bottom of the climb, or you can ride to the start of the climb from Arette, Aramits, and other nearby villages.

Summer in the Pyrenees is normally warm and sunny, even at higher elevations. However, there are some periods of low clouds that can make the climbs quite damp. Bring warm clothes just in case. Take food and water with you. There is a bike shop in Arette.  
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.
There are places to stay in Arette, Aramits, and some of the smaller villages in the area. Arette and Aramits also have restaurants and shops for food. 

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Strenuous
4
Road
4
Traffic
2
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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Apr 5, 2021
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 2
traffic: 4
road: 4
Apr 5, 2021
scenery: 2
traffic: 4
road: 4
This climb is all about the last 3 to 4 kilometers, which are pretty much all double digits gradient. There is not much scenery and there is little activity in this part of the Pyrenees, but the climb is a good challenge.
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Col de Marie Blanque from Escot (west)

Ride 9.2  kilometers gaining 711 meters at 7.7% average grade.

The route to Col de Marie Blanque from the west is the more popular route when the col is featured in the Tour de France. This is also the most difficult side to climb the col from, by far.

 Legend has it that the col’s name dates back to the mid eighteenth century and Marie Asserquet, a renowned pale (white/blanque) skinned aurostère (an author and performer of improvised chants memorializing the dead).  Friebe and Goding, Mountain Higher p. 46.  

The eastern approach to the col from Beille (population 528) is the easiest by far at 11.1 kilometers/5.1% versus from Escot at 9.2 kilometers/7.7%.

Kilometer markers lead us up the climb.

The col first appeared in the Tour de France in 1978 when it dashed the repeat hopes of 1977 Tour champion Bernard Thevent:

“Tour de France: the race has passed 14 times. If the Pyrenees were the start of high altitude racing this one is a relative newcomer to the race with its first inclusion in 1978 and it wasn’t used again until 1986. Perhaps this was because it helped ruin Bernard Thévenet’s chances. The Frenchman had won the Tour in 1977 and was back the next year but ground to halt on this climb and needed a back wheel with a 24 sprocket.”  inrng.com

Year

Stage

Category

Start

Finish

Leader at the summit

2010

17

1

Pau

Col du Tourmalet

 Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)

2007

16

1

Orthez

GouretteCol d'Aubisque

 Mauricio Soler (COL)

2006

10

1

Cambo-les-Bains

Pau

 Cyril Dessel (FRA)

2005

16

1

Mourenx

Pau

 Jörg Ludewig (DEU)

2000

10

1

Dax

Hautacam

 Javier Otxoa (ESP)

1996

17

2

Argelès-Gazost

Pamplona

 Neil Stephens (AUS)

1995

16

2

Tarbes

Pau

Stage neutralised

1992

2

1

San Sebastián

Pau

 Richard Virenque (FRA)

1990

17

1

Lourdes

Pau

 Dominique Arnaud (FRA)

1989

9

1

Pau

Cauterets

 Robert Forest (FRA)

1987

14

1

Pau

Luz-Ardiden

 Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA)

1987

13

1

Bayonne

Pau

 Luis Herrera (COL)

1986

12

1

Bayonne

Pau

 Pedro Delgado (ESP)

1978

10

2

Biarritz

Pau

 Michel Pollentier (BEL)

Marie Blanque beat down Bradley Wiggins on Stage 17 of the 2010 Tour de France leading to Wiggins stating ““This is just the mountain I don’t cope with very easily and it seems to defy analysis.”  Wiggins lost 23 minutes on Andy Schleck that day, finishing 88th.