This experience contains two gravel adventures. First climbing from Valloire to the highest of its Ski Station (2534 metres) through a minimum of 35 hairpins. Then some excellent gravel up a really 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 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. Actually, I used our first hike to do some severe route planning:
However my first aim was to get to the very high of Valloire-Galibier ski station. Ranging from city, in the event 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, however it 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.
But it surely was nonetheless an extended option to the excessive level on the high of one other elevate. The ultimate couple of kms had been steep and I handed some mountain climbing faculty kids so slowly that we might have a pleasant chat and so they 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 highway to try to be part of up with the route I had hiked with Doreen the day gone by. I’m going to publish the photograph once more, however whereas mountain climbing I had been so transfixed with L’Aiguille Noir. I’ve visited Col de la Plagnette from a special route earlier than on a mountain bike, however puzzled if it was attainable from this facet.
And now I used to be on my bike heading immediately 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 approach mentioned it was troublesome however not harmful. So I acquired on the path.
Some components had been comparatively straightforward and a few components brutal, however I made progress. Be aware, 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 facet.
See this outdated experience for particulars of climbing Col des Rochilles from Plan Lachat and persevering with east previous these lakes all the best way to Briançon: Col Looking Behind Le Grand Galibier
This outdated photograph beneath reveals the attractive Col des Rochilles descent. It was taken on paved highway at 6km marker beneath 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: