Col de l'Izoard


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A view over Briancon from the old Fortress.
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The climb begins....
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Leaving Briancon, the climb takes you up a river valley for about 12 km before veering right up an alpine valley with broad farm fields and intimidating peaks as in this photo.
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A view up the alpine valley.  I believe the buildings are Lasserou.  
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The alpine valley forks; this view is of the left fork, but the road takes the right fork.
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Eventually things get steep and the road makes a gorgeous series of switchbacks.
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The famous marker at the col.
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Apparently the road is very popular with cyclists!
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Taking 3 photos at the col brought the rains down.  I descended the far side in a downpour, waited 5 minutes in a covered bus stop at the bottom, then headed back up in a solid rain.  I tried to repeat the photographic rain dance here this past weekend - we are in the midst of a bad drought - and now there is rain in the forecast!
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There is lots of old Tour and Giro graffiti on the Italian side of the Izoard.
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I had fun despite the conditions - at least until hypothermia set in on the descent to Briancon.
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A panorama of the Casse Deserte.  It is a crazy place.  The debris flows that come down must be something to see.  It looked like they might even get moving when dry.

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The Coppi / Bobet memorial along the Casse Deserte.
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The view in the direction of the Casse Deserte from near the summit.

 

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