Col d'Aubisque

The Col d'Aubisque  (elevation 1,709 m (5,607 ft)) is a mountain pass in the Pyrenees 30 km (19 mi) south of Tarbes and Pau in the department of the Pyrenees atlantiques.

The pass is on the northern slopes of the Pic de Ger (2,613 m (8,573 ft)) and connects Laruns, in the valley of the Gave d'Ossau, via Eaux-Bonnes (west) to Argelès-Gazost in the valley of the Gave de Pau, via theCol du Soulor (east). The road crosses the Cirque du Litor, in the upper part of the Ouzom valley. It is generally closed from December to June.

The pass is starting point of excursions and a centre for winter sports. In summer, it is popular with cyclists. It is regularly part of the Tour de France, generally rated an hors catégorie climb.

From the west, the climb to the Aubisque starts in Laruns. From there, the Aubisque is 16.6 km (10.3 mi) and rises 1,190 m (3,900 ft), an average gradient of 7.2%. The first few kilometres, to the spa resort of Eauc-Bonnes, are fairly easy. After the Cascade de Valentin comes a section at 13%. From there to the top, the climb is 8.0 km (5.0 mi) at 8% average, passing the ski resort of Gourette at 1,400 m (4,600 ft).

The east side is climbed after the Col du Soulor (1,474 m (4,836 ft)). Starting from Argelès-Gazost, the Soulor is 19.5 km (12.1 mi). It rises 1,019 m (3,343 ft), an average gradient of 5.2%. It gets tougher after Arrens-Marsous with 10% and more. From the Soulor, the climb is 10.6 km (6.6 mi), gaining a further 235 m (771 ft). The road from the Soulor runs along cliffs in the Cirque du Litor, where there are two short, narrow tunnels. From the Cirque du Litor, the climb is 7.5 km (4.7 mi) at 4.6%, a height gain of 350 m (1,150 ft).

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