A 1,350m climb up the classic Col du Galibier or a 5 hour 116km circuit up Col d'Izoard are always tough but with 40C in the Haute Alps cycling becomes a gruelling test of stamina - and salt reserves...
On Tuesday I cycled down to Briancon before turning around to do the ascent up to the Col du Lautaret and then on up to the Col du Galibier, just over 1,350m of climbing and 70km.
It was a tough ride in the heat as temperatures were in the mid to high 30s.
As you can see there is still snow around even with this heat.
Having learnt my lesson two days before leaving too late in the current heat, on Thursday I started out at 07:00 for a circuit that takes around five hours and climbs the Col d'Izoard from the steeper southern side, La Boucle d'Izoard.
By 08:45 the temperature was 20C and quickly rose into the high 20s for the start of the climb and once on the main section in the 30s, peaking at 39C on the last 5km. Back down to Briancon and home it was in the 40s.
My actual moving time was 6hrs 15min taking it very very easy.
After speaking to a mate who got into a bit of a state earlier in the week (owns a bike shop) I took his advice and in one bottle with cheapo isotonic drink I shovelled in some salt. Apart from tasting horrible, (used the other bottle of unsalted isotonic to take the taste away), it seems to have helped, as there was little in the way of salt stains, and I was not in my usual bad state, post-ride cramping up. There again I did take it very easy, and the great thing is this time of year all the fountains in the villages work so you can dunk your head and fill your bottles.
Search the Site
MOUNTAIN VIEWS: Weather Reports & Webcam
Views from the mountain WebCam along with weather reports and conditions...more
Another day, another great ski tour in Japan. It's so easy to fall into a rhythm every day of skinning up, skiing down, soaking in an onsen, having a beer, eating traditional Japanese food. And, then, waking up to repeat it all over again...more
NATIONAL SNOW SHOW LAUNCH. The phoenix has risen out of the ashes of the fallen Telegraph Ski & Snowboard show which closed, last year,even before the effect of Covid-19 on the ski industry. A new exhibition, the National Snow Show will open at the NEC in Birmingham, a two day event from 23rd-24th October.more
SKI K2 PEAK TO BASE? MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? OR POSSIBLE? Watch a new feature length documentary called The Impossible Descent, revealing how Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel became the first to ascend K2 without oxygen and to click into his bindings at 8,611m and descend without removing his skis...more
THE CORONAVIRUS EFFECT ON SKI RESORTS 2020/21. Should you book your ski holiday now? Or wait and face rising prices? The ski industry is holding its breath praying there is no further fall out for skiing and ski resorts next winter...more
TOP TIPS FOR SKIING OFF PISTE AND POWDER. How do I ski powder? How is skiing off piste different to on piste? Do I need fat skis to freeride? Check out these tips from ski instructor, James King, to ski powder like a pro...more
The cycling season for me would normally start in late March but 8 weeks of confinement meant I could only cycle within a one km radius of home, so other strategies were required to get cycling fit...more
Let's face it there are worse places for your van to break down than the Italian Alps where there's always an adventure to be had whether climbing, hiking, taking a bus to Chamonix or an Italian taxi...more
Getting out of Dodge (Italy) in haste back in March, it seemed a good plan to return, post covid lockdown, and collect all the gear before heading back to the UK. But make a plan, make God laugh...more