Col du Lautaret - 2058 metres


One of the main routes between France and Italy, a wide road that can be busy with traffic. The Col is kept open throughout the year and can usually be climbed from March if the weather is good.

A long climb from Briancon or Bourg d'Oisans that is never very steep but the wind can often blow. If you have a tailwind, you can feel strong and easily make the Col. When it is a headwind for 40 kilometres, the Col du Lautaret can turn into a tough climb. The climb has stunning mountain views from the tree covered mountainsides around Bourg d'Oisans or Briançon to the desolate Col de Lautaret.

The road to the Col du Galbier can found at the Col du Lautaret as well as a water fountain if you need to fill your bottle.

Western Ascent

Start town : Bourg d'Oisans
Starting Altitude : 719 metres
Distance : 40 kilometres
Vertical Climb : 1400 metres
Gradient : 3.8% average - 9% maximum
Comments : This information includes the climb of the Col du Telegraphe on the profile.
Click to view image On the western ascent, the stunning views of the Ecrins massif.
Click to view image The same view but earlier in the year.
Click to view image Another view of my favourite corner on the western ascent.
Click to view image Descending towards Bourg d'Oisans from the Col.
Click to view image The view of the Col du Lautaret climbing to the Barrage du Chambon.
Click to view image The view back down the Col with two kilometres left to climb.
Click to view image The mountian view when climbing the western side of the Col.
Click to view image An image taken in April 2002, nearing the Col on the western ascent.
Click to view image The same view as above but an image taken in late October 2002.
Click to view image The Col is open all year, with the impressive snowbanks towering above the road.
Click to view image The glaciers of the Ecrins make the Lauteret one of the most spectaular passes.
Click to view image Nearing the summit when climbing from Bourg d'Oisans.
Click to view image The view of the Ecrins and summit of La Mejie from the col early in the year.
Click to view image The Col du Lautaret from the road to the Col du Galibier.
Click to view image A view of the Col du Lautaret from the road to the Col du Galbier.

Southern Ascent

Start town : Briançon
Starting Altitude : 1315 metres
Distance : 29 kilometres
Vertical Climb : 750 metres
Gradient : 3.1% average - 6% maximum
Comments : A wide road from Briançon with great mountain views of the Ecrins massif to the south.
Click to view image Five kilometres to the Col.
Click to view image Around three kilometres left to climb to the Col du Lautaret.
Click to view image The mountain views around the Col du Lautaret.
Click to view image Descending towards Briançon.
Click to view image The Col when approaching from Briancon. The road to the Col du Galibier is on the right, but covered by snow.
Click to view image The same view as the image above but another six weeks later in the year. The Col du Galibier is now open.
Click to view image The final kilometre of the Col when climbing from Briancon.
Click to view image The Col du Lautaret in late October 2002.

Back to the Alps Part Two