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blitz trip to French / Italian Alps (Route des Grande Alpes as backbone)

Erstellt von PHS, 14.09.2014, 15:51 Uhr · 32 Antworten · 5.940 Aufrufe

  1. PHS
    Registriert seit

    Standard blitz trip to French / Italian Alps (Route des Grande Alpes as backbone)

    Hier mein "blitz Ferien" Eintrag. Auf English weil mein Deutsch nicht so super ist.
    Eigentlich weiss ich auch gar nicht ob es der Absicht ist om dass so zu tun auf das Forum hier....
    Und für Holländer sind Berge fast etwas von ein anderen Planet....deswegen viel Foto's....
    Hoffentlich macht es trotzdem spass....


    This summer there was another "blitz trip" on the program.
    The Executive Board (my wife... ) had granted a 5 days off free to plan card.

    I had three things on my wish list:

    1 A few "Big bertha bike friendly" gravel passes. At Conti's TA2.
    2 The highest / best-known French Alpine passes
    3 Discovery work in the Italian Alps west of Cuneo.

    In order to realize (given my limited experience in this area), point 1 reasonably safe, I had decided that I
    would only go after 3 days dry in this area, and preferably 2 days thereafter to do 2 and 3.

    And Saturday August 16 was the day.

    On my own. Just me.
    A bit selfish but my trips are for me.
    I can do what I want, when I want.
    Ride all day. Stop when I want. Or don't stop.
    Just away from talking, concensus, common ground, compromise. That's the rest of the year.
    That's me...on motorcycle holidays.

    What passes etc did I encounter on my travels:

    Susten, Furka, Grimsel, Cormet D'Arêches, Col D'Iseran, Col du Mont Cenis.
    Col delle Finestre, Assietta Kammstrasse, Col d'Izoard, Col / tunnel Parpaillon, Bonette
    Col Lombard, Colli di Cueno (= Colle Fauniera (also called Colle dei Morti), Colle di Valcavera, Colle Esischie)
    Colle di Sampeyre, Col d'Agnel(lo), Col d'Izoard, Col du Galibier, Col du Madeleine. Route des Crêtes.

    About 3200km.

    This was the route (way back is not attractive and is Autobahn mainly).

    In Switzerland, fresh snow had fallen on the higher peaks that night.

    Early up as Sunday+sun= busy. At 10.30 I was already heading to France. Lots and lots of daytrip people heading
    my way for a day out in the Swiss Alps.

    Cormet D'Arêches was next en just before that you can drive along the Lac de Roselend:

    Then follows Cormet D'Arêches. Gravel with some mean stony patches.
    A laugh for the true offroad veteran but exiting for me as it was the first mountain offroad experience for me.

    Then Col D'Iseran. Already 6.30pm and totaly desolated exept for a German in his Volkswagen.. Chilly as well at 7C.

    Then Col du Mont Cenis (+lake). Cloudy and eerie atmosphere...

    Sleep in Susa, Italy, Piedmonte.

    Col delle Finestre. Well to do gravel.

    Weather wasn't bad at all.

    then Assietta Kammstrasse. My "must have" on this trip. And the weather is just AMAZING!

    Local wild life testing my "don't use the front brake on gravel reflex". All goes well.

    just moments later...a fox and its pal (who just crossed over).

    On the Assietta it's quiet. A few crossers, a few cyclists ....

    On this very spot I spent like 30 minutes...alone. Nothing passing by. Lunch....

    With delayed action shutter (had to run and was panting.... )


    One keeps looking and making photo's.

    The GSA was doing just fine.
    Weight works also in a positive way as one does not come to a standstill at every bump.
    I felt perfectly comfortable "dancing" with the big bird on gravel.
    And the bottom torque works wonders.
    The bicyclists however go down the track way faster than me

    The last planned gravel piste: Col de Parpaillion. Stonier. Steeper. A bit meaner. Lovely.

    Cherry on the pie:

    A bit tense I drive into the arched tunnel.
    Over 500 meter at over 2600 metes.
    Pitch black. Water falling from the ceiling. Potholes up to 50cm deep filled with ice cold water.
    Mud. Patches of ice (even in August!). Rocks.
    But there's light on the end of the tunnel. Literaly.
    Don't go into the light. But we go anyway.

    I feel quit the man when I park my BMW on the other side of the tunnel.
    A small 1 cylinder 4stroke pulls up next to me. The better tool for the job.
    An Italian gentleman on it, telling me he's 73. Perspective...

    The to Col de la Bonette. Moon like landscape.
    Alianating. Not beautiful. Impressive none the less.
    By the way. It's not the road half way on the mountain side....look at the top of the ridge....yes, there it is!

    At the top of 2802m a French girl on her bicycle finishes her run to the top.
    All the way from the valley. Wow!

    Spending the night in a run down skiresort called Isola2000.
    Walking to my hotel room I have this incredible deja vu moment.
    Looking around me for twins or Jack Nicholson.

    But all ends well.

    At night fierce thunderstorms pass oer the mountains.
    Next morning Col de Lombarde with rain. What a contrast with yesterday.
    But it looks to become brighter on the Italian side.

    Then there are several passes of the Col del Cueno range, of which the Col dei Morti (pass of the dead !) impresses me beyond words. But I'll try anyway. The landscape is fierce and desolate. The pictures, like usual, don't convey the feeling. But trust me...

    It is a tiny road. Filled with potholes, gravel and missing road. I am totally alone for almost 2 hours..

    Col D'Agnel(lo) at over 2700m. Better wetter as in more sun. But cold with a near gale wind at 7C.

    Second time Col D'Izoard (S-N) with photographar near the summit (buy the pic later online, which I did)

    followed by Col de Galibier.

    Then via the Col de Madeleine I leave the Alps.
    After a night sleep in Switzerland I drive home via the Vosgeas Route des Crêtes.
    Last year September with 30C and now with 9C !

    A very enjoyable trip with lots of sun but on the chilly side.

    Main takeaways for me:

    The big bird (Kampfelefant) does all well (offroad, highway, in between)
    Best investment below €100: a set of rok straps
    Best investment over €100: a set of HyperPro's
    Most impressive pass: Col dei Morti
    Offroad appitive awakenend

    Hope you enjoyed the report!


  2. Registriert seit


    Hey, super Bericht und Fotos, Daumen hoch!
    Über meinen absoluten Lieblingspass bist du auch rüber. War schon 2 Jahre nicht mehr dort, mein Neid ist dir gewiss!

  3. Registriert seit


    Klasse Tour, toller Bericht, sehr schöne Bilder.

    Vielen Dank!!!!

  4. Registriert seit


    Zitat Zitat von PHS Beitrag anzeigen
    Hier mein "blitz Ferien" Eintrag. Auf English weil mein Deutsch nicht so super ist.
    Eigentlich weiss ich auch gar nicht ob es der Absicht ist om dass so zu tun auf das Forum hier....
    Und für Holländer sind Berge fast etwas von ein anderen Planet....deswegen viel Foto's....
    Hoffentlich macht es trotzdem spass....


    That's one small step for us, one giant leap for Peter, the planet conqueror!

    Ok, it's just a joke

    Very nice pics, very well done and very well written traveling tale

    Congratulation for being back with a great experience and a broad grin

  5. Registriert seit


    Sehr schön!

  6. Registriert seit


    Sehr geil!!!

  7. Registriert seit


    Nice ride, wonderful pics, thanks for the report,

    there`s no better motorcycling in europe

    Zitat Zitat von PHS Beitrag anzeigen

    let me guess: Griffe Photos. Photos vélo, Moto 21 Virages de l'Alpe d'Huez,Galibier,Croix de Fer,Izoard,Ventoux

  8. PHS
    Registriert seit

  9. Registriert seit


    lekker, thanks for sharing. good style, we want more...

  10. Registriert seit



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