Luz - Ardiden


General characteristics (click for gradient profile or photos).

Argelès-Gazost [450m] - 18 km first semi-flat, finally steep uphill - Viscos [840m] - 12 km uphill - Luz Ardiden [1712m] - 14 km downhill - D921 near Luz St Sauveur [670m] - 20 km downhill - Argelès-Gazost [450m].

Take from Argelès the cycle path (former rail track) to Pierrefitte. Thereafter, follow the D921, direction Luz-St Sauveur and Gavarnie. Turn right shortly after crossing the river (with EDF power station); that's the local road to Viscos. Just before Viscos keep left and continue climbing to the D12 (main access road from St Luz-Sauveur to Luz-Ardiden).

The gentle, introductory climb along the - unfortunately busy - D921 from Pierrefitte direction Luz-St Sauveur follows the scenic Gorge de Luz.
The climb from Luz-St Sauveur to the winter sport resort Luz-Ardiden is graded as 'Hors Categorie'. It is likely that the same would apply to the alternative climb via Viscos, but this narrow, reasonably well maintained road has never been used by the Tour de France.
Since we have done Hautacam and Luz-Ardiden the same day, only Ward has been at the resort; Oof has turned back at Viscos.



Left: View from Viscos towards Luz-St Sauveur (in the distance); right: hairpins from Luz Ardiden to/from Luz-St Sauveur.
The photo at right has been taken by Roland van Peppen.