Col du Télégraphe

Col du Télégraphe, a scenic Alpine road

Col du Télégraphe is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.566m (5,138ft) above the sea level, located in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes.

Nestled in the French Alps above the Maurienne valley, the winding road to the summit is very curvy with many hairpin turns. It's called D902. The pass is 17.5 km (10.87 miles) long, running from Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne to Valloire, as well as forming an access point to the col du Galibier via its north face. The Col du Telegraph is so named because at the very top of the climb there's a fortress, the Fort du Télégraphe, that used to have a semaphore telegraph on top of it, built in 1884. The Fort du Télégraphe is open for visitation during the summer months.

The road to the summit is steep, hitting a maximum gradient of 10% through some of the ramps. At the summit are a few radio and TV towers. It's a rather large cement structure that can be seen for a long way. The Col du Télégraphe has been crossed multiple times by the Tour de France. To reach the Col du Galibier, you must first climb the Col du Telegraphe. The road is normally open the whole year around. It has a maximum gradient of 10% and 14 hairpin bends.

There are 2 routes to reach the summit. Starting from Saint Michel de Maurienne, the ascent is 11.8 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 856 meters. The average percentage is 7.3 %. And starting from Valloire, the ascent is 4.8 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 165 meters. The average percentage is 3.4 %.

 

 

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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.