Yes, I have a new toy. It’s probably a terrible idea, but I have a little drone that takes photos. It’s a DJI Spark. For a full review of the drone see the excellent DCRainmaker site.
I have the good fortune to ride Col du Galibier once a year or so. These days, I try and wait for special conditions , eg. early season snow walls. Or late season with sun like today is also great: quiet, some snow on higher peaks (plus I had a new toy!).
A 3D video of the ride:
The route was simple (see map below), just up and down the north side of Galibier, including Col du Télégraphe. Télégraphe was chilly as it was shaded the entire way up, but the rest of the ride would be in sun (although very cold much higher).-
I didn’t take many photos until I was above Plan Lachat (the last 8 kms), but the Polka Dot Hay Man at Col du Télégraphe is terrific.
Above Plan Lachat (roughly 2000 metres altitude) is where Galibier gets fun. Hairpins, views, big mountains – fantastic.
I always like the view at the 6-kilometre-to-go marker. In the distance is the unpaved military road up to Col des Rochilles (see here for ride details).
The weather has been rough recently up high, and there was a fresh frosting of snow on all the neighbouring peaks. And snow along the road above 2450 metres or so.
So here are two photos from roughly the same spot. One with my handy tripod, and one with the drone:
Above the tunnel, the road was clear, but likely slippery in spots earlier in the day.
The final hairpin (I like this photo):
Finally, the summit.
There is a little hiking trail from the Col that heads a little higher. So this photo was not with the drone:
I considered descending the 8 kms on the far side to Col du Lautaret (beautiful), but I was cold, tired, and busy fooling around with photos. But I highly recommend the descent. The north side is better than the south side option. BUT, the south side shines above Col du Lautaret.
Galibier is always a fun challenge. And a late season (quiet) ascent is always worth the effort.
PS – here’s a photo from Col de la Colombière from few days ago. A ride I didn’t blog.