Tourmalet: 19 km, 7.4% average gradient, 10.2% maximum gradient, 1404 m ascent
Tourmalet Tid Bits
- The highest paved mountain pass in the French Pyrenees
- A Cat HC climb (categories are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, HC, 1 is the easiest). HC, or Hors Categorie, designates a climb that is off the charts.
- It has often appeared in the Tour de France
The following map shows the towns that we stayed in and the climbs that we did.
When we climbed Tourmalet, we rode from Aste. We summited, then rode back to Aste.
The following map provides a rough estimation of the route that we took. We were staying in Aste. I am not sure of the route we took to get to the base of the climb. However, we did ride the main Tourmalet route, through La Mongie, to the summit. Once you are on the main Tourmalet route, there is really one main way to the top. Just stay on the main road. You will know when you have reached the peak.
Hotels: We stayed in Hostellerie d’Aste. The experience in this little, family run hotel was nothing less than amazing. I am really sad to say that it has been closed. Aste is a lovely little town. If you have the chance to stay there, definitely do.
During the Climb: Breathe. Believe in yourself. Stop in La Mongie for a little break. We had a little visit with the donkeys trotting around, which brought a feeling of peace before the final push.