Col du Tourmalet, Luz Saint Sauveur story submitted on 3/29/2010
I have climbed from both sides and consider the Mongie approach to be somewhat easier overall despite the very steep ramps and avalanche tunnels as one nears La Mongie. From the ski area to the top is often in clouds; you can hear the bells of mountain goats and sheep, so be aware. The Luz St. S route seems steeper because of the stunning views from the switchbacks and the harsh wind. The final mile or so can be very windy, but the finish is more satisfying. Ride carefully down to La Mongie for a double espresso and a sandwich at one of the many cafes there.