Challenge « Road Passes on the alpine watersheds »

Rédigé par Enrico Alberini

Gérard Galland offers us this challenge:

to climb all the road cols located on the five main watersheds from the Alps

namely: 1 – North Sea / Adriatic, 2 – Western Mediterranean / Adriatic, 3 – North Sea / Western Mediterranean, 4 – North Sea / Black Sea , 5 – Black Sea / Adriatic.

80 cols and several countries included.

This challenge is open to members and non-members of the Club des Cent Cols.


Registration form Format PDF      Format Word


The objective of this challenge is also to encourage the participants to a detailed observation of the areas visited concerning the hydrographic network of the Alps and in particular to be interested in the future course of the waters flowing on both sides of the climbed cols .

The term “Ligne de partage des eaux” (LPE) – watershed in English – is mentioned in the comments on article 2 of our rules of the game, extract: “a place named on a cadastral map… .. with a title evoking a col, meets the RDJ , subject to…. , whether it is located on an LPE. ”

A watershed designates a geographical limit that divides a territory into two watersheds: on each side of the line, the waters flow towards two different rivers, or even two rivers, or even two seas or oceans.

The dividing line means separation. Often a border – political, linguistic … follows a watershed. Fortunately, communication is possible thanks to the crossing points… these crossing points have a name: “cols”.

The Alps are considered to be the water tower of Europe; the main European rivers have their sources there. They feed 4 watersheds and 4 seas: the North Sea (with the Rhine and its tributaries), the Western Mediterranean (with The Rhône and its tributaries, the Var, La Roya, and the Ligurian coastal rivers), the Adriatic ( with the Po and its tributaries, the Adige, the Piave, the Tagliamento, the Soča) and the Black Sea (with tributaries of the Danube).

From 2 hydrographic tripoints (a hydrographic tripoint is a point where three watersheds meet) the Witenwasserenstock (Rhône – Rhin – Po) and the Lunghin Pass (Rhin – Po – Danube) both located in Switzerland, we can define 5 watersheds in the alps

  1. North Sea – Adriatic (almost entirely in Switzerland, short trip to Italy)

    Splügen Pass (photo Gérard Galland) starting from Witenwasserenstock :

  1. West Mediterranean – Adriatic (in Switzerland, Italy and France)

    col du Grand Saint-Bernard

  2. North Sea –  West Mediterranean (entirely in Switzerland)

    Col de Chaude (photo Gérard Galland)

Starting from Piz Lunghin :

  1. North Sea – Black Sea (in Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany)

    Albula Pass

    Albula Pass (photo Daniel Cattin)

5. Black Sea – Adriatic  (in Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Slovenia).

Val et Forcola di Livigno

Val et Forcola di Livigno (photo Lucien Chevalier)

Descriptions of the watersheds and the cols located on them are available with the links above. A slideshow with maps and photos taken at the main cols is also available in connection with these articles.

Another approach is to focus on the “main” line of the Atlantic – Mediterranean watershed (LPE A / M) which, from the Czech Republic through the Sudetes massif and southern Germany, crosses the Alps ( LPE 4, 1 and 3 above) and extends west and south into the Jura then the Massif Central before crossing the Pyrenees, Spain and Morocco. This approach amounts to considering the Western Mediterranean, the Adriatic and the Black Sea as one sea. It makes LPE Mediterranean West – Adriatic (LPE 2), a LPE of “second order” … despite its passage through the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Mont Thabor and Mont Saccarel.

Significant documentation on this “main” LPE is available on the website of the “Watershed Line” association, which was created in 2014 with the “purpose of developing all activities related to the watershed between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea (known as the “A / M line”). A recently created “By bike too” page is dedicated to crossing the EPL by bike

Rather than the infinite increase in the number of cols, many of us prefer the achievement of a geographically or culturally determined goal.

The challenge of the “inter-sea” Water Sharing Lines of the Alps aims in this spirit to invite participants to visit the cols located on these LPEs.

We also thought it would be interesting to offer this Challenge to non-members of the Club des Cent Cols in order to allow them to start a “collection of cols” in the heart of the Alps. We bring them our expertise on thesecols and we provide them with sophisticated IT tools. By this means, we hope to promote the joys and pleasures of discovery and cycling.

How it works

The Club des Cent Cols has created the “Inter-sea” Alpine Watershed Lines (LPEA) Challenge, the objective of which is to cross all the road cols located on these LPEs:

1 -LPE North Sea – Adriatic 4 cols
2 – LPE West Mediterranean – Adriatic 27 cols
3 – LPE North Sea –  West Mediterranean 17 cols
4 – LPE North Sea – Black Sea 9 cols
5 -LPE Black Sea – Adriatic 23 cols
Total (LPE Alps) 80  cols

The cols are those in the Club’s catalogues of the countries concerned at the date of signing up to a challenge. They are listed at the end of this document and in the excel table described below. This is used to declare cols. It is sent to the participant when registering.

At the creation of the challenge, 78 cols  situated on the watershed line of the Alps were listed in the Club’s catalogues. In 2020, the Col de Gourze (CH-VD-0799) was added to the Swiss catalogue. It was then added to the challenge at the end of 2021.
For those riders signed up before 2022, the challenge consists of 78 cols to be climbed (the Col de Gourze and Le Basset are reccommended, but optional). For those signing up from the start of July 2022, the number of cols to be climbed is 80 (including the Col de Gourze and Le Basset).

The cols can be climbed in any order (but in accordance with the Rules of the Game for the 100 Cols club).

Circuits making it possible to reach – in the shortest distance – the cols of the various LPEs are proposed in the descriptive articles (see links in the objectives section).

Cols climbed before the creation of the challenge are taken into account.

• the watershed “platinum” challenge is obtained when the participant has climbed all the cols located on the five watersheds, ie. the 79 cols concerned.
• the watershed “gold” challenge is obtained when the participant has climbed all the cols located on the Atlantic-Mediterranean watershed (watershed a / m), ie 28 cols (9 for the North Sea / Black Sea watershed, 4 for watershed North sea / Adriatic and 16 for watershed North Sea / western Mediterranean),
• the watershed “silver” challenge is obtained when the participant has climbed all the cols of three watersheds (it can be conflated with the gold challenge, if these 3 watersheds are those of the Atlantic / Mediterranean watershed.
• the watershed “bronze” challenge is obtained when the participant has climbed all the cols of two watersheds.


Download the registration form (pdf), or in Word format or request it from the challenge manager

  • A number will be assigned in the order of registration.
  • A number will be assigned upon receipt of the challenge completion declaration

Upon receipt of the registration form, the person in charge will communicate to the applicant the declarative table in which the cols of each watershed are listed.

This table consists of 7 sheets, one for each of the 5 watersheds, and two summary sheets. It allows the participant to manage their list of climbed cols and to view their progress.

For each LPE, the names, altitudes, codes and accesses of the cols, as well as a link to the col viewer, are indicated in the corresponding sheet. For the border cols, the indications of the different catalogues have been included.

The participant will indicate in the column “date” information of his choice (in digital format: for example the climbing date or a serial number) for each climbed col, Excel will calculate the number of climbed cols for the corresponding LPE. This information will be automatically reported in the summary sheet. When all the cols located on an LPE are climbed, this will be indicated in the summary sheet. It will also indicate the level (of bronze to platinum) of challenge obtained.

The declaration is made by transmitting the completed Excel file (and named 999-NOM Challenge LPE Alpes – 999 = Registration number for the challenge) to the person in charge of the Challenge, the person responsible analyzes the results and establishes the Tableau d’Honneur.

Once a participant has completed the “Gold” and “Platinum” challenges, and on their request, the challenge organiser will prepare a diploma certifying the completion of the “Gold Challenge” or “Platinum Challenge” of the “Ligne de Partage des Eaux des Alpes” (LPEA)

Participants can print this diploma themselves, or have it sent to them by the organiser at a cost of 6 Euros (this sum includes the cost of the special paper, and printing and postage), or receive it by hand at one of the meetings of the Club.

A “Roll of Honour” of the holders and participants in each challenge (showing their progress) will be established.  This list will be made available by the challenge organiser, after which a decision will be made on publishing the list in the Club publications.  (Participants may request that their names be withheld from the published lists)

Rules of the challenge

    • This challenge is open to members and non-members of the Club des Cent Cols.
    • To register for the Challenge, you must: complete the registration form accepting these rules
    • The goal of the Challenge is to cross all the cols located on the “inter-sea” LPE of the Alps. The list of cols is established by the Club des Cent Cols according to strict criteria of topography and toponymy.
    • The cols must be climbed in accordance with the rules of the Club des Cent Cols.
    • Each col climbed is declared as such on the good faith of the participant
    • There is no time limit imposed
    • A certificate is granted when all the cols located on the LPE of the Alps are climbed.

List of Cols

 1 -LPE  North Sea / Adriatic                                         4 cols

1 Passo del San Gottardo / Gotthardpass CH-TI-2091
2 Passo del Lucomagno / Lukmanierpass CH-GR-1915
3 Passo del San Bernardino / Bernhardinpass CH-GR-2065a
4 Splügenpass / Passo della Spluga CH-GR-2115b IT-SO-2115

2 – LPE Western Mediterranean / Adriatic             27 cols

1 Nufenenpass / Passo della Novena CH-TI-2478b
2 Simplonpass / Col du Simplon CH-VS-2005
3 Col du Grand St. Bernard / Colle del Gran San Bernardo CH-VS-2469a IT-AO-2473
4 Col du Petit Saint-Bernard FR-73-2188 IT-AO-2188
5 Col du Mont Cenis FR-73-2081
6 Col du Petit Mont Cenis FR-73-2183b
7 Col de l’Echelle FR-05-1762
8 Le Mauvais Pas FR-05-1779
9 Col de Montgenèvre FR-05-1850
10 Col Agnel /  Colle dell’Agnello FR-05-2744 IT-CN-2748
11 Col de Larche / Colle della Maddalena FR-04-1991 IT-CN-1996
12 Col de la Lombarde / Colle della Lombarda FR-06-2350a IT-CN-2351
13 Col de Tende Ouest /Colle di Tenda FR-06-1871 IT-CN-1871
14 Colla San Bernardo (di Mendatica) IT-IM-1263
15 Colla Rinella IT-IM-1281
16 Colla del Fieno IT-IM-1242
17 Colla dei Boschetti IT-IM-1229
18 Colle di Nava IT-IM-0941
19 Colla di San Bernardo IT-IM-1052
20 Passo di Prale IT-CN-1269b
21 Colle Caprauna IT-CN-1376
22 Colle di San Bernardo IT-CN-0957
23 Colle Scravaion IT-SV-0820
24 Giogo di Toirano IT-SV-0807
25 Colle di Melogno IT-SV-1028
26 Bocchetta di Altare IT-SV-0440
27 Colle di Cadibona (tunnel) IT-SV-0435

 3 – LPE  North Sea / Western Mediterranean    17 cols                 

1 Furkapass /Col de la Furka CH-UR-2429c
2 Grimselpass / Col du Grimsel CH-BE-2165b
3 Col du Sanetsch / Sanetschpass CH-VS-2252
4 Col du Pillon CH-VD-1546a
5 Col des Mosses CH-VD-1445
6 Col de la Pierre du Mouellé CH-VD-1661
7 Col d’Ayerne CH-VD-1465
8 Col de Chaude CH-VD-1621
9 Col de Jaman CH-VD-1512
10 Le Creux CH-FR-1490
11 Col de Belle Chaux CH-FR-1510a
12 Col de Villard CH-FR-1459b
13 Col de Rathevel CH-FR-1233
14 Seuil d’Attalens CH-VD-0753
15 Le Basset CH-VD-0683
16 Col de Gourze CH-VD-0799
17 Col du Chalet-à-Gobet CH-VD-0872

4 – LPE North Sea / Black Sea                                            9 cols  

1 Julierpass CH-GR-2284
2 Albulapass CH-GR-2312
3 Flüelapass CH-GR-2383a
4 Bielerhöhe AT-7-2037a
5 Zeinisjoch AT-7-1842
6 Arlbergpass AT-7-1793
7 Flexenpass AT-8-1773
8 Hochtannbergpass AT-8-1676
9 Riedbergpass DE-BY-1420

5 -LPE  Black Sea / Adriatic                                                   23 cols

1  Passo del Maloja /Malojapass CH-GR-1790
2 Passo del Bernina / Berninapass CH-GR-2307
3 Forcola di Livigno IT-SO-2315 CH-GR-2315c
4 Passo di Foscagno IT-SO-2291
5 Passo di Fraele IT-SO-1952
6 Ofenpass / Pass dal Fuorn CH-GR-2149b
7 Passo di Resia / Reschenpass IT-BZ-1507
8 Passo del Rombo / Timmelsjoch AT-7-2474 IT-BZ-2491
9 Passo del Brennero /Brennerpass AT-7-1370 IT-BZ-1375
10 Passo di Vizze / Pfitscher Joch AT-7-2246 IT-BZ-2251
11 Passo di Gola / Klammljoch AT-7-2288 IT-BZ-2288
12 Passo Stalle / Staller Sattel AT-7-2052 IT-BZ-2052
13 Sella di Dobbiaco / Toblacher Sattel IT-BZ-1209
14 Passo Monte Croce Comelico /Kreuzbergpass IT-BL-1637
15 Passo di Monte Croce Carnico / Plöckenpass AT-2-1357b IT-UD-1360
16 Passo di Pramollo / Nassfeldpass AT-2-1530 IT-UD-1531
17 Sella di Camporosso IT-UD-0814
18 Sella Nevea IT-UD-1178
19 Passo del Predil /  Predel IT-UD-1156 SI-1156
20 Forcella della Lavina / Klanska škrbina IT-UD-2068 SI-2055
21 Preval Vršič / Passo di Moistrocca SI-1611
22 Bohinjsko sedlo SI-1277
23 Postojnska Vrata SI-0610