Lanslebourg to Serre Chevalier 1500

September 22, 2008

Galibier Descent

The Galibier and the Telegraph

Left at normal time of about 9:30am. I keep it fairly easy wrt starting time in the mornings.

Downhill to begin with then on to an early climb to a mountain village for some photos.

Next, a big descent into mondane ended up getting to terminal velocity on a certain stretch. (65kph) just couldnt get any faster.

Then a downhill cruise into St Michael which was pretty top class timewise. Made good time and good distance.

Had some lunch then prepped for the Col de Telegraph. Onto the climb, it was pretty tough, making me dig deep. The climb was right out of the valley to a pinnacle; wee photo some sweets and a smile to another bike tourer.

Descended into Valloire, another nice looking ski resort. I was supposed to stay here but it was before 2pm at this point. I could smell the Galibier honey.

Next was a testing 15km unrelenting climb. Stopped for a tiny break for biscuits and water; prepped my pockets with haribo.

I took 4 cyclists on the ascent, none passed me. Also, the cyclists I passed didnt have any load! Pushed myself as hard as I could, hardest so far. On reflection, I think that the Galibier is the best col on the grand traverse. It has everything; views, difficulty, length, status.

An english cycling friend made it to the top soon after me. And we chatted for a bit. Im keen to do a summer ascent of mont blanc so spoke to him a bit about it.

After gassing, the time was getting on a bit (16:30), so wrapped up warm and descended after a couple more photos.

Galibier ascent

Descent was a bit frustrating as I got stuck behind a number of cars and then a lorry. Its strange being faster than motor vehicles on a descent. I remembered racing helen into a fjord when she was driving a few weeks previously.

I was supposed to stay at Briançon but on the way there I passed Serre Chevalier 1500 and a nice looking hotel, so stopped there.

Feeling tired but still strong. Pelforth Brun Bier rocks.

View from galibier summit