Climbing The Col de Pailhères (Mijanès) – Cycling Inspiration & Education from The Col Collective

All content courtesy of Mike Cotty and The Col Collective.

Located in the Ariège department in the Occitanie region of south-west France, the Col de Pailhères joins the village of Mijanès in the east to the spa town of Ax-Les-Thermes in the west. Despite being just one of two road passes to top 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) in the French Pyrenées (the other being the legendary Col du Tourmalet at 2,115 meters or 7,000 feet) the Pailhères was a relative latecomer to the world of professional cycling, appearing for the first time in the Tour de France in 2003. A popular climb for cyclo-tourists crossing the mountains from coast to coast the Pailhères has a certain serenity that only increases the higher you go and, although it may only be 10.4 km from Mijanès, with switchback upon switchback and views that’ll leave you in complete awe it’s a far grander climb than it may otherwise have you believe.

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