This journey consists of two gravel adventures. First climbing from Valloire to the highest of its Ski Station (2534 metres) by way of not less than 35 hairpins. Then some excellent gravel up a very lovely hidden valley parallel to the paved Galibier highway however surrounded by excessive mountains, after which a barely loopy ascent to Col de la Plagnette – bike pushing concerned. Woohoooo !
My spouse and I have been staying in Valloire for 3 nights. Our plan was to do a number of large hikes and I used to be allowed one (one!) bike journey. So I selected it rigorously. Actually, I used our first hike to do some critical route planning:
However my first purpose was to get to the very prime of Valloire-Galibier ski station. Ranging from city, if you happen to look carefully on the map you’ll see it’s nothing however hairpins early on. It’s paved for a few kilometres and I handed varied ski chalets, but it surely quickly turns into a pleasant gravel ski-lift service highway.
I reached the highest of one of many foremost chair lifts and there was a pleasant lake.
Nevertheless it was nonetheless a protracted option to the excessive level on the prime of one other carry. The ultimate couple of kms have been steep and I handed some climbing college youngsters so slowly that we may have a pleasant chat they usually kindly cheered me on. However I made it! Good views and a elaborate top-of-the-resort signal.
Subsequent I descended down one other gravel service highway to attempt to be a part of up with the route I had hiked with Doreen the day past. I’m going to publish the photograph once more, however whereas climbing I had been so transfixed with L’Aiguille Noir. I’ve visited Col de la Plagnette from a unique course earlier than on a mountain bike, however questioned if it was attainable from this facet.
And now I used to be on my bike heading straight at this lovely peak.
I knew the gravel highway would quickly finish and issues would get trickier. However two pleasant and really match guys in French Nationwide jerseys (ski or VTT or XC ski champions?) coming from different method mentioned it was tough however not harmful. So I acquired on the path.
Some elements have been comparatively simple and a few elements brutal, however I made progress. Be aware, the ultimate 3 kms to the col have been primarily bike pushing/carrying.
However I used to be thrilled and relieved to succeed in Col de la Plagnette (2525m):
Excessive I quickly arrived at 2 alpine lakes which are sadly pretty dry/empty. It was a brief journey to Col des Rochilles (2496m) – which I do know – and a protracted, bumpy descent to Plan Lachat on the Galibier north facet.
See this previous journey for particulars of climbing Col des Rochilles from Plan Lachat and persevering with east previous these lakes all the best way to Briançon: Col Searching Behind Le Grand Galibier
This previous photograph under reveals the attractive Col des Rochilles descent. It was taken on paved highway at 6km marker under Galibier summit, however the gravel highway is obvious on the left. Many hairpins! Anyway it’s enjoyable when a foolish thought is profitable.
Right here’s a 3D video of this nice route: