Col du Galibier at Dawn – Video

Galibier at Dawn

I had been thinking about this project, ever since Philippe, Xavier, and I watched the sunrise up Mont Ventoux.

I must admit I was a little scared alone in the dark as I left the last town. I wasn’t sure whether to keep my light on, or remain dark and anonymous – there was only a single car the entire way. But as I got used to it, I enjoyed myself more and more. Such that I was startled when I reached the hairpin at Plan Lachat where the road turns up — as it arrived much sooner than expectd.

As I got higher, the light improved and I just kept smiling – too much fun. It had only stoppped raining in the last few hours and there was still some fog and clouds so I didn’t get the perfect sunrise. But it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t bad at all.

A short video.

I also cycled the other side – just the best part above Col du Lautaret. It was a beautiful day — once the sun rose :).

Some photos:

Self portrait:

Cheerful Italians:

A big thanks to Janni and Janné (spelling) from Finland for a very fun time riding up together. Photo at the Henri Desgranges monument.

Starting so early leaves plenty of time for cycling, and I did do another climb after this, but I’ll save that for another blog post. 😉


Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Very impressive Will! You set a new definition for word early bird. We had the honour to ride with you for a while and looking forward doing it again one day in the future. Many thanks from Finnish guys!

  2. Janne,

    thx for leaving a message. I had a lot of fun riding with the two of you. Enjoy the rest of your visit to the Alps.

    Hi Katy, the last time I was at Galibier I think I was with you, Eric, Martin, and Doreen. Another great day.

  3. ralph.bowman on

    You also just made a new category for the Cycling-Challenge. Night-time ascents. Your goal should be to go back and do every climb that you have previously conquered in the dark!

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  10. Hi Will,
    that was totally inspiring! After riding many of these cols, I see how there are many ways to experience them in a unique way. I’m going to be in the area in a couple of weeks, do you have any idea what time the sunrise was at Galibier when you did it? I’m assuming it will be 5.30am or so, but any further infer on how to time it right would be great. Would be a shame to get there too late (although still a great ride as always). Thanks so much,

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