Col du Galibier (el. 2,645 metres (8,678 ft)) is a mountain pass in the southern region of the French Dauphiné Alps near Grenoble. It is the ninth highest paved road in the Alps and the sixth highest mountain pass. It is often the highest point of the Tour de France. It connects Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne and Briançon via the col du Télégraphe and the Col du Lautaret. The pass is closed during the winter. It is located between the massif d'Arvan-Villards and the massif des Cerces, taking its name from the secondary chain of mountains known as the Galibier.
Before 1976, the tunnel was the only point of passage at the top, at an altitude of 2556 m. The tunnel was closed for restoration until 2002, and a new road was constructed over the summit. The re-opened tunnel is a single lane controlled by traffic lights, which are among the highest such installations in Europe.
Details Of The Climb:
From the north, starting at Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne (including the Col du Télégraphe), the climb is 34.8 km long, gaining 2120 m. in height (an average of 6.1%). The actual climb to the summit starts at Valloire and is 18.1 km long at an average of 6.9% (height gain: 1245 m). The maximum gradient is 10.1% at the summit. From the south, the climb starts from the Col du Lautaret (el. 2058 m.) and is 8.5 km long at an average gradient of 6.9% (height gain: 585 m) with a maximum of 12.1% at the summit.