Courchevel is better known as a Winter resort and is part of 'Les Trois Vallees' considered by many to be the largest ski area in the world. In Summer it is great for road biking, with a 17km climb up from Carrey or 26 km if you start in Salins des Thermes/Moutiers. The climb finishes at the Courchevel Altiport at 1900m. And yes it is an airport with a sealed runway in the heart of the Northern French Alps.
The climb has featured in the Tour de France stage finish on 3 occassions, the last time in 2005 when the stage was won by Alejandro Valverde.
MAP OF THE COURCHEVEL CLIMB
ROAD BIKE ON THE COURCHEVEL CLIMB
The start of the Courchevel road is close to our chalet in Meribel Les Allues and we often include all or part of this climb on our local day. Other guests chose to ride it on the staff day off.
We start the climb from Carrey, the same route used by the increasingly popular Cyclocourch time trial which takes Wednesday evenings in the Summer months. Alternatively you can start down in Moutiers for a 26km ascent.
The first half of the climb up as far as Courchevel 1550m (one of the resorts along this road) are quite tough with sections of 9-10%. After 1550m the next 5-6km are easier with a gentler gradient before it kicks up again in the final 2km.