by Alain Hoffmann
The "Col du Parpaillon"
Ratings(1-5, 1=easy, 5=extreme):
Is it worth doing? Definitely.
Suitable for: Any Landrover, any driver
This col (french for mountain pass) is probably the last one of the great Alps crossings without tarmac. Let's hope it stays that way.
The road was built by the french army's corps of engineers in the late 1800's. What makes it special is the high altitude of 2656m and the long tunnel on top. After the invention of tarmac the neighbouring Col de Vars was granted a hard surface as it offered access to the same regions at 500m lower altitude
How to find it
This picture shows the southern entrance to the tunnel at the summit. Although there's evidence of sheeps it's almost an moonlike, lifeless landscape. Often a pair of eagles can be watched here.