Col du Galibier

(Col du Lauteret)

France

A huge part of the Tour de France's history, and firmly regarded as one of the world's best climbs. There is only one word to summarise Galibier – 'iconic'.

Switchback heaven.

In the southern region of the French Alps, reaching the summit at 2642m, from either the north or south, Galibier is a must-do climb. Many will ride towards Col du Lauteret, which itself is renown. Albeit, it is a busy road which takes you there. We started from Col du Lauteret.

From Col du Lauteret, the road curls and curves up the valley.

Pretty views.

4km to go, the road ascends with gradients nearer 10%. The landscape sculpted by the harsh weather systems and high altitude is vast and baron and beautiful. It can also be said, we never felt alone; there are car parks and various buildings, including a café and hotel. This is France’s highest mountain pass open to traffic all year round.

Nearer the ridgeline, it is turn after turn of splendour.

And, in the final few hundred metres it is >10%.