Col d'Aubisque

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Col d'Aubisque
View from the pass to the upper part of the west ramp

View from the pass to the upper part of the west ramp

Compass direction west east
Pass height 1709  m
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques Hautes-Pyrénées
Valley locations Laruns Argelès-Gazost
expansion D 918
Mountains Pyrenees
Mountain scoring HC 1
Ø pitch 7.2% (1190 m / 16.6 km) 4.1% (1247 m / 30.2 km)
Max. Incline 10.0% 9.6%
Col d'Aubisque (France)
Col d'Aubisque
Coordinates 42 ° 58 '36 "  N , 0 ° 20' 23"  W Coordinates: 42 ° 58 '36 "  N , 0 ° 20' 23"  W.

The Col d'Aubisque is a 1709  m high mountain pass in the French Pyrenees . From west to east it connects Laruns in the Vallée d'Ossau with Argelès-Gazost in the Gave de Pau valley . The health resort of Eaux-Bonnes and the Gourette ski station are on the western ramp , while the eastern ramp leads over another pass, the 1474 meter high Col du Soulor . The Col d'Aubisque is one of the most famous climbs of the Tour de France , which has already crossed it 71 times.


The steeper west ramp overcomes 16.6 km in length 1190 meters in altitude, which corresponds to an average gradient of 7.2%. It starts behind Laruns, where it branches off to the left of the D 934. The first four kilometers lead to the health resort of Eaux-Bonnes with an average gradient of 5% . There the branch line D 240 coming from Béost meets the D934. After Eaux-Bonnes, the road becomes steeper and the Gourette ski station, which is 1,346 meters high, is reached via several hairpin bends . Then the road changes direction and strives up to the Hôtel des Crêtes Blanches , which offers a panoramic view of the Pic de Ger mountain range . There are a good two kilometers to the top of the pass.

The east side (1st category), which is somewhat easier according to the mountain price classification, initially leads over the Col du Soulor and includes a slight counter slope on the way to the Aubisque. This is why it only has an average gradient of 4.1% from Argelès-Gazost over 30 km at an altitude of 1247 meters. The east ramp of the 1474 meter high Col du Soulor, which can also be accessed from a lesser known north side, also has a mean gradient of over 7% in the upper part. Behind the Col du Soulor there is a two-kilometer descent, which then again has a good 300 meters of altitude difference over a further eight kilometers. The road called the Corniche leads mostly along a steep rocky slope, the Cirque du Litor . It is extremely scenic.

The Col d'Aubisque on an old postcard


The pass road was built in 1860 under Napoléon III. as part of the Route thermale des Pyrénées , now Route des cols . From 1881 iron and silver ore were mined above Gourette. The street then became more important with the development of skiing since the 1930s. The Hôtel des Crêtes Blanches was built in the 1950s. The 18.7 km long mountain run from Laruns to the Aubisque is more recent .

Tour de France

If the route runs counterclockwise, i.e. the Pyrenees have to be conquered before the Alps, the Col d'Aubisque is usually the first mountain of the so-called Hors Catégorie for the field of drivers .

The Col d'Aubisque has been part of the Tour de France program since 1910. In that year, the eventual overall winner Octave Lapize , when he arrived at the top of the pass, described the tour organizers present there as murderers ("assassins"). In 1951, the Dutch wearer of the yellow jersey Wim van Est fell spectacularly into a ravine on the descent and was rescued by his colleagues with the help of bicycle tubes that were knotted together. In 1995 the peloton crossed the top of the pass in memory of Fabio Casartelli , who had previously died in an accident . The Spaniard Federico Bahamontes was the first to cross the Aubisque four times.

So far there have been three mountain arrivals on the Aubisque. In 1971, Bernard Labourdette won the stage from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Gourette , in 1985 won Stephen Roche . At the Tour de France 2007 the goal of a stage was for the third time on the Col d'Aubisque; The winner was Michael Rasmussen . Up until 2011, the Col d'Aubisque was on the program 71 times, from 1911 to 1958 at every event.

Literature and web links

Individual evidence

  1. Pass crossings to 2002 , Mémoire du cyclisme