While the Tour de France limelight shines on the southern ascent of the Col d’Izoard, with the exploits of Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet on its fierce slopes part of the mountain’s rich history, the north face offers a demanding ascent in its own right.
The towering climbs is on the Route des Grandes Alpes (Great Alpine Road), and the north face climb rises to 2,360m via a 20km route shrouded by trees.
In the latest video from the Col Collective, Mike Cotty guides you up through the larch wood and out onto the stunning mountain landscape at the summit.
Cotty described the climbs from Briançon as a ‘stern test’ and adds: “While [the trees] 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.”
Elevation gain: 1,145m
Average gradient: 5.8%
Max gradient: 9%