This journey 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 really 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 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 journey. So I selected it fastidiously. Actually, I used our first hike to do some severe route planning:
However my first purpose was to get to the very prime of Valloire-Galibier ski station. Ranging from city, for those who 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, however it quickly turns into a pleasant gravel ski-lift service street.
I reached the highest of one of many foremost chair lifts and there was a pleasant lake.
However it was nonetheless a protracted solution to the excessive level on the prime of one other raise. The ultimate couple of kms had been steep and I handed some climbing faculty youngsters 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 street to attempt to be a part of up with the route I had hiked with Doreen the day past. I’m going to put up the picture once more, however whereas climbing I had been so transfixed with L’Aiguille Noir. I’ve visited Col de la Plagnette from a distinct path 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 straight 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 manner mentioned it was troublesome however not harmful. So I bought on the path.
Some components had been comparatively simple 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 succeed in Col de la Plagnette (2525m):
Excessive I quickly arrived at 2 alpine lakes which might be sadly pretty dry/empty. It was a brief journey to Col des Rochilles (2496m) – which I do know – and a protracted, bumpy descent to Plan Lachat on the Galibier north aspect.
See this previous journey 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 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: