Col du Solude

A narrow road to Col du Solude

Col du Solude is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.680m (5,511ft) above the sea level, located in the Oisans region of the French Alps.

The road to the summit is stunning. It's called D219. It's one of the famous French balcony roads. It’s mostly paved but the last 2 km, after Villard Notre Dame, are unpaved. It’s extremely narrow. It’s a shelf road with steep drop offs and several dark tunnels. After the tunnels, the route is just as good. It winds up and up, in a fabulous environment, getting ever closer to big mountains. It has several nice tunnels and the road is cut into the mountainside for long stretches (just like many other roads in the area). One tunnel is long enough (and bent) so you will not see anything at one point as the tunnels are unlit, so it might be wise walking a few metres in this tunnel. The road connecting these tunnels is just as hair raising up close, as you would expect from seeing it at a distance. This is as close to real exposure on a bike as you can come. Only a low stone embankment separates the road from the drop off. It makes a great foreground in photos that celebrate the grandeur of nature. Starting from La Paute, the ascent is 14.3 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 950 meters. The average percentage is 6.6 %. The maximum percentage is 15,8%.

 

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