In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


Col d’ Izoard

Filed under: — Mike Chapman @ 8:49 pm

Col D’ Izoard on a very hot day

Monday 28th July

I traveled to Bourg Dā€™ Oisans. I think I have mastered the travelling alone and map reading problem. I stop at an Aire, look at the map and memorise the next couple of junctions and then drive. I t seems to work. I love new technology but Sat Nav has not excited me yet. I like to know where I am. I do not like to be told where to go next!

I have a number of things I am incapable of doing one of them is navigating in crowded places, towns and in this case camp sites.

When I arrived at the camp site I asked for a calme and tranquil emplacement. I went with the girl from reception to find a place. I found one and the girl gave me a map and explained the one way system. So even though I was only 50 meters from my camp site I knew I was lost when I passed a family cooking their evening meal for the second time. I parked the car walked to my emplacement and tried again successfully. I am camped right at the end of the camp site with a great view. It is a shame that during the night I realised that there is a man in a tent close to me who snores for France.

Tuesday 29th July

3:08 min
Av heart rate 73%
AV speed 17Km hour

Tomorrow I planned to do the big ride. Today I would cycle one pass the Col Dā€™ Izoard. The drive to Briancon from Bourg Dā€™ Oisan is spectacular with a lot of alpine features ā€“ mountains, glaciers, Hydro electricity and tunnels, the full set. I remembered how difficult it is to park in Briancon so I parked in the village of Salle les Alps about 6 Km outside Briancon. The heat was tremendous and by the time I reached the start of the climb, and it starts steeply, I was prepared for a tough time.

Casse Desert Col D’ Izoard

I was moving quickly but not fast enough to avoid a swarm of files that followed me to the top. My original plan was to ascend the North side, descend the South side and then come back. I reached the top looked at the scenery, that I remembered from climbing holidays with the family, descended a Kilometer and then felt so hot I decided to get back to the car as quickly as possible. The last 6 Kilometers were tough and I began to worry about attempting the Marmotte.

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