Col du Tourmalet, French Pyrenees
Altitude 2,115m (6,939 ft)
The Col du Tourmalet is the highest paved mountain pass road in the French Pyrenees at an altitude of 2,115 meters traversing the Pyrenees between the cities of St. Marie de Campan to the east and Luz-Saint Sauveur to the west. The western side, from Luz-Saint-Sauveur, is 19.0 km (11.8 miles) long with an average gradient of 7.4%. Starting from St. Marie de Campan, the eastern climb is 17.2 km (10.7 miles) with an average gradient of 7.4%. The Pic du Midi de Biggore observatory is accessible via a road from the top of Tourmalet. On the eastern side of the pass, about 5 km from the top, is the ski station of La Mongie. Tourmalet is also the name of a cheese local to the region which is made from sheep’s milk. The Tourmalet is one of the most famous mountain passes in France having been climbed 87 times during the Tour de France beginning in 1910 giving it the distinction of being the most climbed high mountain pass in the race.
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