Although the north face of the Col d’Izoard may not have had quite as much of the Tour de France limelight as its southern ascent, don’t let that little piece of trivia misguide your judgement towards this mythical mountain that stands centre stage of the Route des Grandes Alpes (Great Alpine Road) stretching 684km from Lake Geneva to the shores of the Mediterranean. Starting in Briançon it’s a stern test, just shy of 20km in length and cloaked in larch wood trees almost all the way up to its 2,360 metre summit. While they offer shelter from the elements they also obscure your view and hold you in suspense right until the very end, gradually peeling back their layers to reveal the 3,320 metre Pic de Rochebrune amidst a mountain landscape beyond words. Deep breath, relax and peace.
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Kit used for this climb: