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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 12: Briancon to Saint Michel Maurienne

Blues skies greeted us when we moved out of the hotel, but gray skies met us on the road on Col du Lauterat. By the time we got to thee intersection with Col du Galibier, rain drops had started falling on our helmets.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

Nevertheless, the Galibier was beautiful, even in the drizzle, and climbing on wet roads didn't generate enough spray to even get our bikes muddy, so we pressed on, enjoying the view.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

Ahead of us, however, rain blocked our views of the surrounding peaks, and we could see that we would soon be in heavy rain.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

Sure enough, by the time we got to the top it was 5C and raining, though not horribly hard. We had climbed the gentle side of the Galibier, and would be descending the steep side with its 10% grade. I was cold, Phil looked cold, so the decision to get into the car and drive down was easy. I harbored thoughts of climbing Col Telegraphe, but it kept raining all through lunch and all the way up the Telegraphe as well, so I gave up on the idea and we drove to St. Michel Maurienne to find lodging. St. Michel was a non descript town with nothing to recommend it, but it gave us the choice of routes for the next day: Col De L'Iseran if the weather was good, and Col du Madelaine if the weather was iffy.

We ended up staying at a dorm-like hotel for about 30 Euros/head, and at dinner, my coke glass looked like a can of coke.
From Tour of the Alps 2011


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