The Classic Mountain Challenge

12th - 17th September 2010

Col Croix de Fer

A week long opportunity to choose your own route and drive the most spectacular Alpine roads

Download Newsletter 1 >> HERE
Download Sample Event Documents >> HERE
Download the Entry Form >> HERE
Download the Event Brochure >> HERE

Have you ever wished for an event without complicated regulations, where you could choose your own route, and take your own time about it each day?

Ten years ago, Keith Baud proposed an idea for such an event that now comes to life as The Classic Mountain Challenge. It's a challenge that will stretch your imagination, resourcefulness and sense of adventure, without becoming a tiresome test of endurance. The only technical skill you will need is the ability to take photographs with a digital camera... and we provide the camera.

During an adventurous week long drive through some of the finest mountain scenery in France, Italy and Switzerland, you will cover approximately 2000kms climbing many of the highest and most famous Cols in motorsport history, as well as many that you’ve probably never heard of. From the start to the finish of each day you choose your own route, use whatever method of navigation you are happy with, and - within the relaxed time constraints of breakfast and dinner - take your own time. See the Route Outline pages for a more detailed description of the areas visited each day.

In short, the Classic Rally Association invites you to join us in September for a week of discovery over the most spectacular Alpine roads, with a glittering prize giving in Monte Carlo as your reward.

How will it work?

Route designer Keith Baud has identified over 130 Cols from which the Organisers will designate a daily list of Target Cols. Each crew will plan their own route to accumulate a score based on the height of the cols they visit. There will be no control points during each day although observers may be present to ensure standards.

Col Croix de Fer

Col de la Croix de Fer - just one of over a hundred to choose from on Keith Baud's ingenious route

A full list of the cols, from which the Target Cols will be selected, will be issued to entrants at least two weeks in advance of the event. This list will include details of road conditions for each climb, the location of the Col sign or other identifier, and any other details necessary to enable the choice of route and accumulation of the crew's daily altitude total. Entrants will also be provided with a map marked with the cols.

Each evening crews will be given a list of Target Cols for the following day. From the list crews will plan their own route, using their own method of navigation and at their own pace, to visit their chosen cols and so accumulate a total towards the goal they set themselves for maximum enjoyment and satisfaction.

As proof of visiting a Target Col, participants will be required to take a digital photograph that must include elements defined in the Regulations. The photographs will be checked each evening and a total of the crew's daily score established.

There will be no overall leader board. Awards will be made based on a crew's score categorised within three bands. There will be additional awards based on vehicle age and other criteria to be declared. See the Regulations for a brief example of the proposed awards.

What cars are eligible?

Basically, anything first registered before 31st December 1975. However, prospective entrants should note that we shall be applying a “handicap” based on a datum year of 1961 in order to encourage older cars. The only paperwork we require is the original log book / vehicle documentation, MOT and proof of insurance.

Do I need a Competition Licence?

No. This is not a conventional rally, therefore only a normal driving licence is required.

How difficult is the Mountain Challenge?

That’s up to you. We will give you all the information that you should need in order to decide which “cols” you visit and which route you take. It will not be necessary to visit all the Target Cols in order to achieve the top award band, however the choice is yours.

Will I need a specially prepared car?

All the roads chosen, including any gravel sections, have been driven using standard hire cars - Citroen C4 and Renault Clio. However, some of the gravel roads in the high mountains may be considered rough by UK standards. Therefore, if you think that you might like to drive some of them then under body protection, particularly on low slung sports cars, might be advisable. Information concerning types of road will be included to assist you in making your decisions.

What happens if I breakdown?

Well known ex-BMC Works mechanic Bill Price and his team will be providing their excellent service backup. However, as the event has no fixed route, they cannot follow in your wheel tracks. They will however be situated at a strategic point each day, as well as providing the re-assurance of mechanical assistance at overnight halts.

Accommodation and Dining

Included in the entry fee is accommodation in a twin room for the duration of the event (six nights). This package also includes breakfast, and dinner on most days. Whilst we try to use the best possible hotels, standards in some remote rural areas may vary. We also try to accommodate everyone in one hotel, but in some places this may not be possible, therefore rooms will be allocated upon receipt of final payments. Upgrades to single rooms are available for a supplement.


Most Classic Car policies will already include participation in this kind of event - we suggest that you check as soon a possible so there is time to resolve any issues that may arise. The main thing to stress to your insurers that the Classic Mountain Challenge is NOT a timed rally or a regularity event and does not have a fixed route. If you have any problems please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll try to put you in touch with companies who can help.

Getting There and Back

Evian les Bains is a comfortable days drive from the Channel, or, if you are having your car transported, there are plenty of economy flights into Geneva. The journey home from Monte-Carlo is a bit longer but a Saturday lunchtime prize-giving should give most people enough time to get back to the Channel by Sunday evening at the latest. Alternatively there is the motor rail home from Nice, or if you are having the car transported Nice airport is well served with flights to European destinations.

Do I need any specialist navigation equipment?

No, you don’t, but if you want to bring any it’s up to you. There is no limitation as to what you can and cannot use on the event. However, you will not need average speed tables, complicated trip meters or fancy watches. You will need some maps, a selection of pens, a reliable wristwatch and a sense of adventure. Mobile phones aren’t banned and neither are GPS systems or Sat-Navs - although we doubt they will be of much practical use.

Come with us in September and drive these memorable roads on the first Classic Mountain Challenge.