Tour Mont Blanc
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February 12th 2013

 

 

 

 

 

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Until we reach Chamonix - it is not so thrilling

lake at Col du PreIn the little village Beaufort sur Doron we take a break and use the time to refill at a small gas station right in the center of the village. There are now two ways to continue that tour around the Mont Blanc. Straight ahead, the longer route through Albertville or taking a right up to the Col des Saisies over to the village Flumet. This route across the Col des Saisies could save us 35km. So we decide to take a right just after we have left Beaufort sur Doron up to the Col des Saisies.

This pass turns out to be a more than ugly ski resort, just trimmed to winter tourism. Huge hotel bunkers spoil the landscape and at this time of the year, since it is not main season, the village is totally dead. The road up here shows lots of frost heaves and it is required to really ride carefully over to Flumet.

In Flumet then we take a right, following the N212 and the N205 and reach quickly after 45km the city of Chamonix. At the town entry of Chamonix, just behind the railway crossing, there are two very good restaurants on the right hand side that do have a nice veranda with view to the mountain and the bikes in front of us. Here we decide one last time to take a longer coffee brake, enjoy a café au lait, watch and listen to the uncountable motorcycles passing by and the roar of their exhaust pipes on the way up to the Col de Forclaz over to Valais county.

 

Back in our hotel  – The hotel Rarnerhof
Where the name of the hotel is coming from, Corinne the host couldn’t tell us. Even she had run already lots of  research this ended up to date unfortunately without success – So what. Last night we had salmon fillet, with a fantastic noodle soup up front, a salad and fruit kebabs for dessert. We were therefore already very interested in the dinner content for tonight.

Petit Saint Bernard with view down to Aosta valleyThis motivation finally ended the coffee break in Chamonix, we climb on our bikes and eat the rest of kilometers across the Col des Montets and the Col de la Forclaz over to Switzerland in the Valais. From Chamonix, the road leads us out into a long valley with relatively few curves.

At this late hour – the clock hangs already around 6:00pm – no sun beam reaches the valley anymore in this season. Slowly the temperature drops and we arrive in a National Park around Col des Montets pass. Ok, pass would be too much for that little hilly plateau - and zosh we passed by – following the road that continues slightly downhill towards the Swiss border.

The guard at the border just waves us through since we are the only ones passing the "frontier" at this evening. After the border station which we just left, down here in the valley in the middle of a narrow valley, surrounded by thick woods, we pass through a small village with a few houses and then follow the road uphill through a number of curves and serpentines that cut through the meadows like a knives. Finally we reach daylight and the Col de la Forclaz.

At the summit of the pass we finally reach the evening sun. Well, Corinnes’ delicious dinner motivates us to leave after a few minutes down to Martigny. The northeast ramp of the Col de la Forclaz opens after a few kilometers a gorgeous view down into the Valais.

In the last evening light, whereby Martigny is already fully in the shade, the view extends over up to the Sion's Valais region. The country road (Kantonstrasse) leaves Martigny straight towards northeast and follows the ribbon of the highway. We reach the bottom of the valley and keep right towards direction of Visp. With outstanding curves up the Valais and up to Raron - and an excellent chicken fillet served from Corinne, we close that tour and enter the evening with a good wheat beer.

That we would end up the next day on the way back to the Mountain Guesthouse Beverin at Grimsel pass in a snowstorm is another story. We had to take the Furka tunnel train shuttle to ride over to the Grisons county, which would certainly be worth an extra story.

 

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