The Col du Galibier is one of the most famous passes in the French Alps.
Due to its strategic position
it was, until 2016, taken up 56 times
in the course of the Tour de France.
This makes this pass the clear
in the Alps.
Another reason for the fame of the Galibier
is its elevation.
With 2652 meters it ranks as
the number six of the passes in the Alps.
If the ascent from the north, from Valloire,
is extended with the ascent of the Télégraphe towards Valloire
(information is yet missing on this website),
then this combination could be the hardest climb in the French Alps.
The difficulty of the climb from Valloire
is caused rather by the large number of elevation meters
than by the slope.
With a slope of 10.4%, the steepest kilometer is not too hard.
On the first ten kilometers from Valloire to Plan Lachat
the road heads fairly straight southward through a valley.
The gradient fluctuates strongly but barely exceeds 8%.
The last eight kilometers are harder,
mostly 8-9%, without opportunity to recover on an easier section.
Here the road runs through a fantastic background of high, rugged mountain faces.
One kilometer before coming to the pass, one turns left before the tunnel.
This is followed by a steep part (10-11%).
From the pass there is a breathtaking view to the south
on the summits of the Écrins massif, which is covered with snow and ice.