Tour of the Alps 2019 – Sunday July 28th

Le Sépey — Col des Mosses — Château-d’Oex — Saanenmöser — Reidenbach — Jaunpass/Col de Bellegarde + Chuchifang — Oey (92.62 km, 1728m)


Well … this day started with rain. I slept a little longer, but still rain. I had a long breakfast and carefully packaged all things down for departure and dressed with what I had (shoe covers, think long finger gloves, head cap), but no real stop of the rain in sight. No wind, dense slow rain, but not very heavy, just enough to make sure you would get totally soaked in 15-20 minutes or so. It was almost 12:00 before I eventually decided to get going. It had still not stopped raining, but was less rainy now and I just could not bear staying in Le Sépey (980m) all day.


After only some way up to my first pass, Col des Mosses (1445m) it started to rain a bit more again and I got wet and cold, trying to keep my hands somewhat warm. It did not matter much if I had no views on this pass as it is the most boring place in this otherwise very nice area. I were so frozen and wet I could not even think of stopping for a photo (it was absolutely not worth the effort). I went down to Col de la Lécherette (1389m) and nothing was better with the weather. Then just to continue (and they had also closed down the little hotel/restaurant up here unfortunately).

It was not fun at all and it seems like the road was much longer than I thought. I just could not go much faster than 20 km/h to minimize the wet and dirt (or so I reason, but cannot handle it better I believe). Most other cyclists would just go as fast as ever, but then they normally do not intend to cycle the whole day without knowing if they have a place to end up at for the night … . I was totally like a drenched cat in an icy lake when coming down to Château-d’Oex (902m). I just had to stop again to try and regain some warmth and stopped at a fancy restaurant there, but could sit on the side in the entrance hugging a cup of coffee.


Eventually I had to leave, maybe an hour later. I was not hungry or thirsty, only wet and cold. I did not get dry at all, but I got warmer and continued up to Saanen and Saanenmöser/Col des Mosses de Gessenay/Saanen Pass (1280m). Next stop was at the nice café I stopped at the year before also in Zweisimmen (946m) which luckily was open despite that it was a Sunday. I spent quite some time there too (maybe another hour almost) and started to feel a bit better and it rained less when I left from here.

I was then determined to try and get a pass done that was newly added to the Swiss pass catalogue this day above Jaunpass/Col de Bellegarde/Bruchbergpass (1508m), which I have climbed from both sides before, but never on the main road from Reidenbach (840m, 829m on the way there). Now I suddenly had some energy again and it was just as well to use it to keep as warm, as possible. I was going up all the way at an average around 10 km/h which is fairly good as it is fairly steep (I did not measure it perfectly, but was almost all the time on 9.9 km/h, while I was going around 12 km/h on a less steep section, clearly not up with really good riders but still I was happy with the speed, but nearly gave up very close to the top at keeping up).

Col de Bädermoos

I had also been trying to find a pass name for the Col de Bädermoos (1559m) on the asphalt road (the Swiss who added the pass apparently did not know it was asphalted, but they have corrected that now, I believe), but I had not found it. Moreover, there is another pass which I was more interested in at the very end of the asphalted road from Jaunpass, but it is merely called Chuchifang (1628m) for all I know, but it was just as well to go there in case they eventually will find a proper pass name there too.

The three photos above are all from Chuchifang. I opened the gate there and went in the 5-10m on the asphalt to check the road ahead, but it was not so good gravel to Bäderberg (1660m) (a restaurant perhaps). Then came the nearby cows threatening to block the gate so I would be locked in by the cows, so had to be fast there. One cow was curious about my bike so had to take a photo fast before he got even more interested. Nice cows, but well. I was freezing and still wet, so the photos were a bit hard to take, but had to have something from the day to show.

Col de Bädermoos - Jaunpass

The photo above here shows the Col de Bädermoos (1559m) on my way back down there. In the photo here one could vaguely glimpse the Jaunpass. People looked at me a bit puzzled when they saw me cycling up this road and I guess I had done the same if I was not cycling.

Jaunpass/Col de Bellegarde

Again the Jaunpass itself is not the nicest spot in the area. However I got one last fairly good photo for the day on the way back down the same way I climbed up here. It rained the whole day apart from maybe 1-2 minutes, but it was not so much now, it was however very cold at the pass and it did not get better going downhill. I continued down the Niedersimmental seen in the photo and cycling with one hand behind my back to be able to move the fingers at all (switching them regularly).

I had looked up a lodging place here in planning for my last night, so I was just on schedule now as I had managed to be a bit ahead of my plan when I took the train to Aosta, but the next day had like +200 km on it, so would have to make some choices the next day too. I looked around for lodging, but did not really want to stop as it was very difficult to use the phone now and I also knew that if I did not see any place I could always go to Oey (670m). Around Ringoldingen a car driver overtook me and stopped me. He had figured out I was freezing and nicely offered to take me down to Oey (not so far from there, so I could have gone myself of course), but he also knew of the people at the relevant hotel there, so it was a good idea to join him there and the hotel had a good price and all was quite fine. I felt I really could not have done better this day (unless I had been in a supported race or something).