I had an abortive trip to document this col last year: after a long slog into a headwind up to Leoncel, on reaching the tunnel I saw the clouds and rain rushing in from the valley to the north, and I beat a hasty retreat. Indeed, my first time over this col, in 2012, was done in cloud and rain, while Die remained bathed in sunshine. In other words, pick your day carefully: you will want to see the views. Really.
This time I ascended from the eastern side: Col de Rousset, Col de St Alexis, and Col de la Chau. Col de la Bataille is one of the several 1000m+ cols that sit on top of the Vercors plateau, so must be approached via other cols.
The approach from the east is ‘undulating’: after the 1254m of Col de Rousset, the elevation varies continuously from around 1000m to 1400m, diving around the spurs of the main valleys.
As you might see from the photos, Col de la Bataille Is one of those which the road crosses laterally, not up one valley and over into the next (Col de la Chau is another example). As you travel across the saddle between the two stunning valleys you are treated to breathtaking panoramas on either side of the road… as long as you pick your day well.