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Col d'Iseran

Hi all

I am planning a late summer trip (lifting of lockdown assumed) to the northern/central alps. One of the climbs on my bucket list is the Col d'Iseran. I want to do the full climb from Bourg St Maurice but have read that the road from there to Val d'Isere is not the most pleasant to ride due to traffic volumes and a number of long dark tunnels.

I notice on Google maps there is a road that leads via Landry and Peisey-Nancroix (underneath the La Plagne/Les Arcs cable car for the skiers amongst you) up to Tignes. From there i would pick up the standard route.

I am wondering what the road surface is like and whether it is rideable on a road bike all the way. Google Street View only goes as far as Les Bettières which makes me think it may not be a suitable surface beyond that.

Anyone have experience of riding it?

Canyon Endurace Ultegra di2
Canyon Grand Canyon CF
Dawes Super Galaxy

Posts

  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,293
    I did it in August.
    The road is busier than most in the area but everything is relative. It was quieter than most A roads around here and I had zero problems.
    An amazing climb
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,533
    Rode up from Bourg St M to Val on the THAT day last July. Don't recall any nasty bits with regards to tunnels. There are some tunnels from the Tignes dam to Val, but take a rear light and remove your glasses and you should be OK. There's not huge volumes of traffic on that section as it's really only stuff going as far as Val.
    Just be aware that the Col will close very early, ie by late September usually I believe as it is at 2,770 m and really goes nowhere!
    As with any climb, once you go over 2,000 m it get hard!
    Col du Petit St Bernard is very pleasant, not too steep at any point and a great intro climb for Alpine novices.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,176
    yeah i was there on that day too and rode up from Bourg. Main road was fine as far as i was concerned although Le Tour was in town. I can remember two snow shelters but no real tunnels.

    You can see them on this vid here if you are interested. The first one has the waterfall cascading over it and the second is where the monk blesses me (you need to watch it)

    Clint Eastwood Rides Again
    FCN = 4
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,293
    Ha! At @ 1.02 or close was when I realised that I still had my hotel key.
    Thankfully it was okay for the guides to return it the following week. Phew!
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,176
    despite the heat on the climb, the rain at the top, the landslide, the lack of a tour and the scary wet descent that was a great day. Managed to get my pic with Didi too on the climb up there. He was at the car park where the road was closed i.e. the furthest point up the climb that cars could make it



    what a week that was. Cormet de Roseland the day before, one of the most spectacular rides i've done in the alps (although I've cheated a bit and used some footage from the previous day's ride up to Val Thorens).

    Dayvan Cowboy

    FCN = 4
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 658
    It's a monster. 50km from BSM to the summit but 10km downhill from Bourg. The road can be busy but go early. i did it one summer and the sun was on me all the way to val d'Isere. The sweat was coming off me and it was 9.30am but the climb got the sun. 2 hours plus up there and 30 mins back :D if in Bourg then the climb over the petit St. bernard to Pre St. Didier and back is excellent (basically France > Italy) or the Cormet de Roseland > beaufort and back where you can turn off and bag the Col du pre. Watch the descent back to BSM. it's fast.
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