This trip contains 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 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 large hikes and I used to be allowed one (one!) bike trip. So I selected it fastidiously. In actual fact, I used our first hike to do some critical route planning:
However my first objective was to get to the very high 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, nevertheless it quickly turns into a pleasant gravel ski-lift service street.
I reached the highest of one of many primary chair lifts and there was a pleasant lake.
Nevertheless it was nonetheless an extended solution 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 college youngsters so slowly that we may have a pleasant chat and so they 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 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 submit the picture once more, however whereas mountain 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 potential from this aspect.
And now I used to be on my bike heading instantly 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 means stated it was tough however not harmful. So I obtained on the path.
Some elements had been comparatively straightforward and a few elements brutal, however I made progress. Observe, 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 are 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 aspect.
See this previous trip 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 previous picture beneath reveals the attractive Col des Rochilles descent. It was taken on paved street at 6km marker beneath Galibier summit, however the gravel street 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: