COL DU GALIBIER – The pass that separates Savoy from Hautes Alpes has been opened to the traffic on june 8th for summer season. A classic destination on motorcyclist roadbook dedicated to the lovers of great Alps hill, and to bikers too, door to Savoy and Hautes Alpes. An epic climb remembered also for the remarkable achievement of Marco Pantani in 1998 Tour de France, whose winning is witnessed by the monument in the exact point where his climbing started.
Because of the great snowfalls of the passed winter, the transit on the hill is still not allowed and you can pass only through the tunnel of Route Départimentale RD920 without crossing the peak. The Galibier road was built from 1880 and it was finished in 1891 with the tunnel drilling.
From 1976 only, beyond the tunnel that until that moment was the only way to cross the peak, at 2556 meters a new way was built, crossing the topographical pass at 2642 meters altitude, adding in every side 1 km of new road with 10% mean gradient. From 2002 the renewable tunnel was reopened to motor traffic. It is 370 meters long and 4 meters wide and it allows alternate traffic by traffic lights, always forbidden to bicycles, which must cross the hardest last kilometer.
A bit higher of the peak you can find a direction table: from there you can see the glaciers of Barre des Écrins and Meije on the south, Monte Bianco on the north, near Susa Valley on south-east and Grand Galibier, the mountain 3.229 high which gives her name to the pass that connects Saint Michel de Maurienne and Valloire to Briançon and Bourg d’Oisans towards Col du Lautaret.