Minimum altitude: 753 meters
Distance: 60.1 km
Slope Aspect: South-West
Vertical Climbed: 1,619 meters (5,312 feet)
Vertical Descended: 1,620 meters
It has been like winter this May. Rain, snow, cold, wind. Not very inviting. Finally a break in the weather, a bit unexpected and I decided to ride the Croix de Fer or Glandon. Rather than leave from Grenoble I drove to Rochetaille as the road is very busy and not that pleasant up the Romanche valley. I started about 3.30pm. Weather looked threatening with black clouds but I figured I would just turn around. I'd forgotten how steep the first part to Riviers is but it seemed to go ok. The second part of the climb to Grand Maison was much harder, there was a strong, cold energy sapping wind blowing down the valley and I found it very hard and slow. My fitness isn't great either, ok for short climbs but not long grinds. At Grand Maison I had to put my rain jacket on and get out of the wind for a bit to warm up.
The final climb up to the Glandon was ok, I nearly went to the Croix de Fer, just 2km further but thought it might be 2k too far. A few photos at the Glandon. Last year on the same Sunday it was 34C and the start of a mega heatwave. More snow this year but not great skiing according to tourers - fresh soggy sucky snow. The ride down with the tailwind was ok, the road is in good condition and the Glandon also appeared open, at least cars were coming up.
Cold, 8-9C at the col with a strong NW wind. Roads good and Glandon seems to be open.