Mountain cols are late to open

The mountain cols are late to open this year.

This is due to both a huge amount of snow and the COVID-19 induced restrictions which have resulted in no one being able to use them.

Work has started on clearing our local cols but it has been a very snowy year and there is a great deal of snow above 2000m.

The Col de Galibier, at 2600 one of the highest in the Alps, is being cleared with the usual variety of impressive machinery.

There is a nice video from France 3, a local TV station, on the progress they are making. The video is about halfway down the page.

It will take until the middle of June until all the cols are open, a delay of a month for some of them.

The Croix de Fer is usually open mid-May and the Glandon by the end of May but both openings have been delayed.

The big snowfalls have also increased the number of avalanches crossing the roads as the weather warms up.

The restrictions have cut down the numbers of cyclists dramatically so there are fewer of them ignoring the closures and risking the consequences of an avalanche.

Fortunately, the fact that the mountain cols are late to open is not affecting any cyclists as the only ones on the roads are the locals.

Once the cols are open the magnificent views and the challenging gradients will be able to be enjoyed by everyone.

I expect this year to be very quiet on the roads, when they release the cycling public from their homes.