This trip consists of two gravel adventures. First climbing from Valloire to the highest of its Ski Station (2534 metres) through at the least 35 hairpins. Then some excellent gravel up a very stunning 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 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 trip. So I selected it rigorously. In reality, I used our first hike to do some critical route planning:
However my first aim was to get to the very prime of Valloire-Galibier ski station. Ranging from city, in case you look intently 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, but it surely 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.
However it was nonetheless an extended approach to the excessive level on the prime of one other carry. 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 flowery top-of-the-resort signal.
Subsequent I descended down one other gravel service street to attempt 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 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 course earlier than on a mountain bike, however questioned if it was doable from this facet.
And now I used to be on my bike heading instantly at this stunning 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 troublesome however not harmful. So I bought on the path.
Some elements have been comparatively simple and a few elements brutal, however I made progress. Word, 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 can be sadly pretty dry/empty. It was a brief trip 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 trip 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 Searching Behind Le Grand Galibier
This previous picture beneath exhibits the gorgeous Col des Rochilles descent. It was taken on paved street at 6km marker beneath Galibier summit, however the gravel street is evident 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: