This experience consists of two gravel adventures. First climbing from Valloire to the highest of its Ski Station (2534 metres) through at the very least 35 hairpins. Then some excellent gravel up a really lovely hidden valley parallel to the paved Galibier street however surrounded by excessive mountains, after which a barely loopy ascent to Col de la Plagnette – bike pushing concerned. Woohoooo !
My spouse and I had been staying in Valloire for 3 nights. Our plan was to do a number of huge hikes and I used to be allowed one (one!) bike experience. So I selected it fastidiously. In reality, I used our first hike to do some severe route planning:
However my first aim was to get to the very prime of Valloire-Galibier ski station. Ranging from city, should you 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 numerous ski chalets, nevertheless it quickly turns into a pleasant gravel ski-lift service street.
I reached the highest of one of many essential chair lifts and there was a pleasant lake.
But it surely was nonetheless an extended strategy to the excessive level on the prime of one other carry. The ultimate couple of kms had 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 flowery top-of-the-resort signal.
Subsequent I descended down one other gravel service street to try to be part of up with the route I had hiked with Doreen the day prior to this. I’m going to put up 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 distinct route earlier than on a mountain bike, however questioned if it was doable from this aspect.
And now I used to be on my bike heading straight at this lovely peak.
I knew the gravel street 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 approach stated it was tough however not harmful. So I bought on the path.
Some elements had been comparatively simple and a few elements brutal, however I made progress. Notice, the ultimate 3 kms to the col had been primarily bike pushing/carrying.
However I used to be thrilled and relieved to achieve Col de la Plagnette (2525m):
Excessive I quickly arrived at 2 alpine lakes which can be sadly pretty dry/empty. It was a brief experience to Col des Rochilles (2496m) – which I do know – and an extended, bumpy descent to Plan Lachat on the Galibier north aspect.
See this previous experience for particulars of climbing Col des Rochilles from Plan Lachat and persevering with east previous these lakes all the way in which to Briançon: Col Looking Behind Le Grand Galibier
This previous photograph under reveals the gorgeous Col des Rochilles descent. It was taken on paved street at 6km marker under Galibier summit, however the gravel street is obvious on the left. Many hairpins! Anyway it’s enjoyable when a foolish concept is profitable.
Right here’s a 3D video of this nice route: