Managed to get away for a last day on the bicycle before going back home this Summer. I wanted to also climb the Lac de Mauvoisin (1976m) this year as it one of the most classic climbs I had still not been to. It is however a fairly long way there and back again from Chamonix and basically just the same way there and back again or it would longer and harder. Still 160 km and very close to 4000hm this day.
Yet more photos of Col des Montets (that I have been to a couple of times by now), but always hoping for better photos and the ones today above and beside here were good, I think.
Down and up to Col de la Forclaz (1527m). Nice weather.
Then down toward Martigny, but turned off on the short-cut to Le Brocard (556m). Then the main slow-rising road toward Col du Grand St-Bernard/Colle del Gran San Bernardo, where I turned off at Sembrancher (713m) toward Verbier. I stopped at Villette for a coca-cola at the grocery and later filled up some water on the way up the Val de Bagnes.
After Les Morgnes the road split up into two, but the bigger road with a long tunnel was closed and I had anyway only thought to take that road down. This photo is from early on the likely nicer smaller road here. The road is varied and becomes wider again through Fionnay, but then it becomes more narrow again until the end.
There is a parking below the dam, but a smaller road continues up to the dam and ends with a short tunnel before one reach the dam. In the tunnel one can take off up a road on the side of the dam and I could not resist seeing if I could get a bit up here. It was nice at first, but it was a mix of concrete and some gravel and drainage gullies and the road was a bit slippery so I really took a chance on cycling up there (I would not do it again). When I eventually came out of the long tunnel I continued a bit up to get some better view as in the photo here before I returned carefully back to the dam again.
The gravel road was good enough here, but it does not go a lot higher before it starts to descend again. Turned around at ca. 2060hm (Marais de la Lia).
Looking over the lake toward the mountains at Aosta.
Early nice part before the long horrible tunnel on the road along the lake.
Photo in the other direction.
Then there is a road along the lake (but it does not go all the way) and it also had some tunnels, but the road then gets less good. I stopped for a view over where I went up on the other side. The waterfall you can see was very much present when going up the tunnel on that side, but one does not get wet.
The view back from the dam was also fairly good.
The dam building and the last section of the road to the dam.
Finally a last view over the lake from the dam.
Just below the parking one sees two bridges while crossing a third.
A view of Val de Bagnes before leaving the valley. Down in Lourtier was a grocery and bought another coca-cola there. But calculated wrong and had not brought enough money with (not enough Swiss Francs left) so when I also wanted a coffee at the nearby hotel, I did not have enough for what it costed, so a bit awkward (didn’t think it could be that expensive), but all was fine in the end and I went down to Martigny.
This time I did not take the short-cut, nor the normal road. Instead I took the shortest road possible from Martigny (499m), which I had previously measured to be exactly 10.0% on average for 10.29 km to Col de la Forclaz (1527m). I only missed the most minor short-cut (road work) which should not have changed the figures as it was only a few metres closer. The start of this climb is the worst and got some looks while going straight up through Les Rappes from Martigny-Croix (often at 20%). I had not really much noticed the alternative road near the top of the climb via Le Mentset, but that part is highly recommended and not too steep. The road could theoretically have climbed close to the valley from Le Fays up all the way to the pass, so one would not need use the big road at all, but then it would have been even steeper.
A last photo above by Col des Montets (1461m) to prove I cycled all the way back. At last this tour was to a definite end now. Then back at Chamonix/Les Bossons again.
Out in Chamonix this evening again and could not resist to take this photo looking like I took it of the mountains, but more really of the sign and the guy standing a bit close to the tracks taking a photo of the mountains.
Next up I was going to Lofoten, Norway to take part in the Viking Tour that went in Lofoten for the first time in 2018. Not so many climbs up there, but it was more of a race for a week than I had thought of it. Still lovely views up there too.