The ascent from Sault is the easiest of the 3 popular ascents. There are two reasons for this. First the elevation is much less because the start of the ascent from Sault is at a height of 694m. Secondly, the overall distance is longer than the other two at 26km. This means that the first 20km of the climb from Sault at 694m to Chalet Reynard at 1417m with a total elevation of 723m, has an average gradient of just 3.6%. You still need to climb the last 6km from Chalet Reynard to the summit but you arrive at Chalet Reynard in much better condition than if you have just slogged up through the forest from Bedoin. Please click here to download a .pdf file of the route profile.
After a short descent out of Sault you start the climb up through the lavender fields then a few short sharp sections lead up into the forest from where it becomes a bit of a boring haul. The road then sweeps left at 1263m where a gentle section trends south to the viewpoint and belvedere at 1327m. From here to Chalet Reynard the gradient is very gentle and the last 2km are almost flat.
The last 6km from Chalet Reynard are exactly the same as the Bedoin route. It is a section that is very exposed and weather dependent and has the reputation of being very windy. On leaving Chalet Reynard there is a short steep section but rounding the first bend you notice a significant drop in gradient with an average of approximately 7% for the next 4.5km. The last part from the Simpson Memorial rears up again and the last 1500 metres are at an average of 10% gradient.