This is a challenging
ascent with steep sections
separated by easy parts that allow recuperation.
After the rather uninteresting preamble from Luz-St-Sauveur on the D921,
the tour suddenly gets exiting when the D922 is entered
just above Gèdre.
The first 5.5 kilometers after the junction are variable in steepness (4-11%),
with the steepest part just before the road to the Lac de Gloriettes
splits off to the right.
Beautiful farmlands and nice views of the mountains ahead
help to enjoy this stretch.
The 2 kilometers after the mentioned junction are easy (1-5%)
but on passing the toll house pleasure begins again.
For the next 3.5 kilometers the road winds itself up
with a slope of 8%.
Views on the surroundings mountains are great.
Then, a short descend (16 elevation meters) leads to
the Auberge du Maillet,
where on sunny days you may pass a queue of tourists
waiting for the bus to continue their trip to the cirque.
We do not need to bother about waiting
but can finish the ascent with the,
from a climbing perspective, nicest part.
It is a climb on an almost empty, narrow and
steep (9-10%) road with 12 hairpin turns that bridge 250 elevation meters.
At the end there is the reward of the cirque.