Col de la Morte

One way to reach the cycling resort Bourg d'Oisans from the south is to ride over Col de Marissol and Col de la Morte. The more obvious route is probably Col de Parquetout and Col d'Ornon. The route over Col de la Morte is more heavily forested and has fewer impressive far views, but instead some really isolated village decay, that looked especially appealing in the rain to me.

01.(00.0km,596m) START-END SOUTH ALT: D526 bridge across Drac, south of La Mure
02.(04.7km,876m) east end of La Mure
03.(09.5km,953m) Nantes en Ratier
04.(12.0km,m) Col de Malissol
05.(14.5km,1003m) la Valette
06.(15.5km,950m) START-END SOUTH: intermediate low point
07.(18.5km,1012m) Fontagneu
08.(21.1km,1061m) les Mazoirs
09.(22.6km,1096m) lower turnoff to Moulin Viex, near le Villard
10.(26.5km,1379m) TOP: point of highest altitude, just east of town la Morte
11.(39.4km,494m) road on left goes to Laffrey
12.(41.5km,371m) START-END NORTH: road joins D1091 in Gorge de la Romanche


From South.
The profile shows an approach over the lower Col de Malissol. The description starts after this descent reaches a low point on D114 in the valley of the Roizonne. The road does some twisting exercises to thread through the centers of the small clusters of houses of Lavaidans. Les Mezoirs is easier, but the houses are just as overgrown from time and vine. At least two of the villages in the valley have public fountains placed under a roof (along with a payphone), which make a great opportunity to get out of the rain, should that be the case.

Meanwhile the mountains lining this valley have lost their rounded aunt hive character and acquired a rocky peak look. I don't know exactly where this happened. The clouds revealed them for the first time when approaching Chabotte Moulin-Vieux. A small 1km detour leads to a peaceful bench, that can be used as the ultimate pique-nique site, located at the dead end of the road, and the beginning of a wildly romantic looking valley. Back on D114 the climbing on this side begins in earnest on the opposite facing slope. The illusion of isolation and another time ends on top of the pass at the ski resort La Morte. But this is still a fairly simple resort town - no condo towers.

 From North (described downwards). From the top of the descend you can only catch two glimpses between the trees of the valley below. But this is a huge drop down to the Gorge of the Romanche. The road drops steeply through one long forested ramp to yet another switchback after another, and the bottom hardly seems to come closer. Just before D114 reaches N91 in the gorge, it traverses on more sleepy village, a reminder of the other side of the pass, that is now behind us.

 Col de la Morte

A day on an Extended Tour with this point as highest summit:

(<Col de Malissol|Col du Glandon>)
Col de Morte, Col de Malissol: Theafrey > small roads and paths with detours onto D115 > Col de Malissol(shp?) > Chabotte Moulin Viex > Col de la Morte > up N91 Gorge de la Romanche > Bourg d'Oisans <> a few miles of shopping: 49.2miles with 6090ft of climbing in 4:42hrs

Dayrides from the end point of this day: Bourg d'Oisans, are on pages:
Col de Sarenne
Col de Solude

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