Col de l’Iseran

While the summit sign reads 2,770 meters, the official summit of the Col de l’Iseran on the maps until recently read 2,764 meters.

At any rate, either makes it the highest paved pass in Europe, although the artificial loop around the Bonette is claimed as such by the French, or at least those in the Ubaye valley.

However, the official pass height of the Bonette is 2,715 meters, so the Iseran, the Stelvio (2,758) and the Agnel (2,744) are higher ‘by nature’…

The Iseran is part of the Route des Grandes Alpes (in French). It connects the valleys of the Isère (Tarentaise) and Arc River (Maurienne) between Val-d’Isère in the north and Bonneval-sur-Arc in the south.

The north side of the pass officially starts at Val-d’Isère, or further down from Bourg-Saint-Maurice. The climb from the south officially starts at Lanslebourg-Mont Cenis, but you could also consider Modane as the starting point.

Post WWII the Iseran was included in the Tour de France 5 times between 1947 and 2007 – in 1996 it was also scheduled, but that stage was rescheduled due to bad weather (snow on both the Iseran and the Galibier).

In 2019, the southern ascend was again included in a stage (19), which was scheduled to finish in Tignes, but that stage eventually got neutralized at the Iseran summit, because of bad weather and a landslide.

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