The Col Collective

Col de la Bonette French Alps

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Climbing its way through the Mercantour National Park, at 24km in length the Col de la Bonette really is an ascent that needs absolute respect right from the start. Pacing, pacing, pacing should be circulating in your head like a broken record throughout, especially as the steepest gradients up to 15% come in the final kilometre. Flashback to the summer of 2013 and the Bonette gave me many a sleepless night as I prepared for ‘Les Alpes’ a non-stop journey from Évian-les-Bains to Nice across the Alps. The fact that this monster rises up to 2,802 metres above sea level and claims to be the highest road pass in Europe is one thing, but I was going to hit it with 11 mountains and over 450km in the legs so on that occasion the word ‘daunting’ didn’t quite do justice to how my mind and stomach were feeling at the time. As I made it to the summit I could feel an overwhelming sense of fulfillment surge through my whole body, the pain disappeared and despite everything I felt more alive than ever. That’s the true power of the Bonette and the reason why I love this climb so much. I hope this video helps you explore your own limits and adds to your mountain memories now and in the future. Peace. Mike Cotty

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Kit used for this climb:

Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 WTS

Lezyne Pod Caddy S/M

Fi’zi:k Aliante Saddle

Have you climbed Col de la Bonette? Tell us about it below.


Length of climb


Start elevation


Summit elevation


Elevation gain


Gradient (avg)

15% at 22.5km

Gradient (max)

34x28 (minimum)

Gearing suggestion

View on Climb by Bike

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