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 very good 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 massive 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 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 major chair lifts and there was a pleasant lake.
Nevertheless it was nonetheless an extended strategy to the excessive level on the high of one other elevate. The ultimate couple of kms have been steep and I handed some mountaineering college kids so slowly that we might 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 try to be part of up with the route I had hiked with Doreen the day gone by. I’m going to publish the picture once more, however whereas mountaineering 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 attainable from this facet.
And now I used to be on my bike heading instantly 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 manner mentioned it was tough however not harmful. So I obtained on the path.
Some elements have been comparatively simple and a few elements brutal, however I made progress. Observe, 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 an extended, 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 picture 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: