Col d’Izoard

Although the north face of the Col d’Izoard may not have had quite as much of the Tour de France limelight as its southern ascent, don’t let that little piece of trivia misguide your judgement towards this mythical mountain.

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The Col d’Izoard stands centre stage of the Route des Grandes Alpes (Great Alpine Road), that  stretches 684km, from Lake Geneva to the shores of the Mediterranean. Starting in Briançon, it’s a stern test, just shy of 20km in length and cloaked in larch trees almost all the way up to its 2,360 metre summit. While they offer shelter from the elements, they also obscure your view and hold you in suspense right until the very end, gradually peeling back their layers to reveal the 3,320 metre Pic de Rochebrune amidst a mountain landscape beyond words. Deep breath, relax and peace.

Start: Briançon
Length: 19.5km
Summit: 2,360m
Elevation gain: 1,145m
Average gradient: 5.8%
Max gradient: 9%

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