Small variant proposal:
When you need to draw an exhaustion card, you put it on top of your deck instead of at the bottom.
That way, if you make an effort to reach the top of the mountain, you know that you can play the exhaustion card on next turn and this will be a five (little advantage).
I find this a little more strategic (you can control more when you get rid of the exhaustion), and a little more realistic (if you make an effort, you usually slow down immediately).
Actually we played it like that the first time we played Flamme Rouge. But it was by mistake, because we didn't know the rule where to put the Exhaustion Card.