This climb consists of two parts,
namely the climb from the eastern side of the Vosges
to Le Markstein and the continuation along the
Route des Crêtes to Le Grand Ballon.
The latter part is easy with the first 6 kilometers
being almost horizontal and a jump of some 100 elevation
meters during the final kilometer (slope up to 9%).
So, almost all of the challenge
(644 out of the 763 climb effort points) lies in the climb to
Le Markstein. It begins at the church of Lautenbach
and is, for the first 7 kilometers, relatively easy (slope less than 5%)
while the roads runs through
villages stretched along the valley and then through dense forests.
Climbing becomes serious just before the road bends sharply to the right.
The next 9 kilometers leading to Le Markstein
are moderately steep (7-8%) with the surroundings
consisting of dense forests.
There is an interrruption to this climbing
when the roads loses 36 elevation meters just before it reaches the Lac de la Lauch.
Le Markstein is a collection of parking lots,
restaurants and hotels
but the wide views on the final stretch towards Le Grand Ballon
more than compensate for this ugliness.