GALIBIER - 2645 m
Start 1. St.Michel de Maurienne
Access 1. Grenoble - direction Chambery - direction Modane
Start 2. Col du Lautaret
Access 2. Grenoble - Bourg d'Oisans - direction Briançon
Side St.Michel de Maurienne
No doubt about it, the reference in the French Alps. Climbing from Maurienne through the Telegraphe, it's a 34km uphill, except the 5 ones to Valloire. It's impossible to reach the summit feeling relaxed. We'll try it i Marmotte 2005, and I'm really afraid of doing it in a hard race pae.
Sign after St.Michel. We're starting!!!
The Telegraphe is a 12km mountain very constant. Maybe first 4km are more tough, 7-8%, and then turn into something easier, but not too much, at 6%. In the summit, time to make a photo and downhill to Valloire. The hell is coming, nad my recommendation is to eat simething in Valloire.
Summit of the Telegraphe
Leaving Valloire, a steep section of 8% welcomes us...but quickly the average gets low (4-6%). Then, after 4-5km quite relaxed, we get to a very long valley where, at the end, we'll trun to right. We're at Plan Lachat: 8km to the top, at 1900m and still with 700m to climb. If you know Maths, you'll guess it'll be really hard...and believe, now, stronger than nowhere else, magnetic fields will appear.
Plan Lachat, the height factor appears
The gradient is now fixed to 9%, and we advance slowly, aove all the 2km from 6 to 4 to the summit, before reaching a small house. Not far from there, I turned my head and saw the top of the mountain. This is one of the times I've felt more impressed when seeing the sumit. How will I get there in only 3km? The gradient is even higher, and at 1'5km to the top it's up to 10%. It's terribly marvellous. We've done it!!!
Reaching the myth
I had to use 39x28 for the final 2km. They were horrible...but if you're very fit, maybe a 23 is enough , except these final 2km. It's a very very long climb where, opposite to Croix de Fer, the closer you're to the top, the steeper the gradient is.. To get there from the other side, the Col du Lautaret, the length is ridiculous, not more than 8km. Also tough, but not as much as what I described from Maurienne.
Summit of the Col du Lautaret