The Tourmalet, take one

view-from-the-tourmalet

All things going well, I should find myself at the top of the Col du Tourmalet in the French Pyrenees twice in 2009. I’ve already ticked off one visit: a couple of weeks ago while skiing with the family. This picture shows the view looking west from the Tourmalet, which is 2,115 metres above sea level. I arrived by chair and button lift.

The second visit will be a tad more difficult, as I’ll be arriving under my own steam by bike. That’s if all the snow has melted by early May, which is absolutely not guaranteed. And that I can actually make it up the damn thing. Plans are well underway for this year’s charity bike ride by Les Veloistes Gentils, which I’ve mentioned a couple of times before. We’re travelling from the Mediterranean coast near Perpignan to the Atlantic coast at Biarritz, starting on May 3rd.

One thing common to both visits will be that the journey down from the top will be significantly more fun than the journey up there!

We’re raising money for two charities this year: Action for Children (the new name for NCH which we supported last year) and CHASE. Both are extremely worthy causes. I’ve set up a Just Giving page here – any donation, however modest, will be very gratefully received.

Wish us luck!

4 thoughts on “The Tourmalet, take one

  1. Mark says:

    Thanks buddy. I suspect I’ll need it, if yesterday’s training ride was anything to go by!

  2. Chris says:

    Just came across your blog. All the best for the ride; hope it goes really well.
    We live/work down in the Pyrenees and I’ll be having at least one crack at the Tourmalet before the end of April if you’d like a snow/weather report?
    The ‘pessimist’ view says it may not open until the traditional date of 1 June on account of the good snow this winter, but the ‘optimist’ says it’s been really sunny during March and the authorities might open it earlier. Fingers crossed for you & all the best.

  3. Mark says:

    Thanks Chris. That’s very kind of you – if you do get up the Tourmalet in the next few weeks let us know how you get on and how far you get! I think we’ll start up it in any case, even if it means turning around and coming down the same side.

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