Having seen this col from a walk I did a few days earlier with Em and Ollie I decided to have a look on the map and see if there was a rideable route.
After some work I managed to put together a nice route with 800m of climbing and a great 1600m of descent, all on singletrack.
Initially the track heads up some forestry roads out of Ponteil up towards the Cabane de Tramouillon at 1963m where it is possible to park a few cars. Directly to the west is the impressive overhanging cliff of Le Peyron and to the north west, in the direction we are heading are the amazing burnt orange cliffs on the Crete de Gaulent, and a steep hill.
There was some 250m of climbing from the cabane up to the col about a third of which was rideable, a third you could push the bike and a third needed the bike carrying. Don’t take a heavy bike on this route.
The top of the col is a great vantage point with views to the Morgon massif in the south and the Ecrins and Brianconnais to the north.
The descent started off on a steep technical ridge with the Durance valley right down below our right elbows. This was the start of 2 hours descending over 1600m, nearly all of which was amazing single track. The track passed through a large boulder field before heading into a large alpine meadow and then into some fantastic wooded singletrack with a set of switchbacks that just went on for ever.
After these there was more fast single track traversing back under the cliffs we had just gone along the top of, before popping out onto a fire road for a bit of a climb before another section of fast singletrack that cut back under the crags at Ponteil.
A hundred meters up the tarmac through Ponteil then put us on a really steep technical section dropping some 500m back down to the valley floor.
You can see the full size pics and the google map of the trail at http://www.alpinebreak.com/2007/mountai ... ramouillon
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