Col de l’Iseran, 2770 m
The mythic big one, the highest road pass in Europe between valleys. Place of rocks, strong sunshine and a chilly breeze. It's always an event to come up here, my first ride was on my XJ750 back in 1986. That was an epic camping trip in the days of European biking before mobile phones and internet booking and before the euro made the currencies easy. Before also the almost ubiquitous adventure style motorbikes and GPS navigation....
There's been strong development on both sides of the col - the ski resorts of Val d'Isère and Tignes have become immense and also Bonneval sur Arc is growing.
Happily the rocks at near the top remain mostly the preserve of the marmottes of the Parc de la Vanoise and those visiting from Valsavrenche and the colle del Nivolet on the Italian side; just a few flaps of an eagle's wings but oh so far round for us on the ground.
Not a fast bike route either, the ride is all about the awe of riding at such an extreme altitude, in and around such huge rocks of granite.