Col du Tourmalet

The beauty of this mountain is knowing just how many tales it holds, from old to new, as you trace your way towards the 2,115 metre summit, making it the highest road pass in the Pyrénées. Take a moment to watch the video and experience a little of the Tourmalet magic with Mike and the spirits of legends.

YouTube video


The Col du Tourmalet has a long and illustrious history with the Tour de France. Featuring over 80 times, it was  first used in 1910, when it immediately stamped its authority on the race with Frenchman Octave Lapize venting his displeasure and yelling “Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins!’ (‘You are murderers! Yes, murderers!’) to officials as he battled his way up little more than a goat track on his single-speed bike. Three years later and Eugène Christophe famously re-welded his fork in a forge at the bottom of the climb in Sainte Marie de Campan, only to be given a time penalty for having outside assistance when he needed a second pair of hands to operate the bellows, now if that’s not a little harsh I don’t know what is? 

Start: Sainte Marie de Campan
Length: 16.9km
Summit: 2,115m
Elevation gain: 1,275m
Average gradient: 7.4%
Max gradient: 13%

Mike and The Col Collective hope this video helps you conquer the Tourmalet and add your own history to this truly memorable mountain.