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Route through Alps?

Clum84Clum84 Posts: 196
edited September 2008 in Tour & expedition
Really need to draw on someones experience here to help me plan a route through the alps! i'm now leaving from paris and have a route 95% sorted with the 5% being the alpins crossing. I'll be looking to either cross from the western swiss side around Lausanne somwhere os possibly if that proves too tricky then from anywhere on the french/italian border. I'm not looking for thrilling climbs but merley a passible and quickish route through, avoiding huge traffic and taking in some decent views ect.

It would be great to hear from anyone who's cycled the area and can offer some routing advice as i'm a bit lost at the moment with this section of my trip.

Thanks
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  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,968
    edited September 2008
    Rhone valley...sling a left to gap... briancon... over the montgenevre pass on the route italia


    or go into germany /austria/ italy

    fredrichshaven.. dombirn austria /nenzing valley to landeck/prutz/nauders/ over the pass into italy malles venosta...bolzano (can't remember the pass name)



    both have only one major climb from memory (caveat)

    the germany route is pretty busy traffic wise but very direct if you want to get across the alps into Italy "in a rush"

    I came back that way in 1991 in a hurry.. crossed the Rhine near strasbourg...

    seems like a 100 years ago.

    Briancon way still fairly busy traffic wise but prettier I think...

    where are you aiming for in Italy?
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,968
    I suppose you could go Aosta / grand st bernard

    .. I have not ridden that or even know if its doable?
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • The Great St Bernard is doable. From Lausanne round the lake and up the Rhone valley to Martigny and start climbing. If you are feeling tired you can always get a bus through the tunnel after Bourg St Pierre instead of going over the pass.

    2400m and only really snow free from June to September (no guarantees).
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    From Martigny, I'd be tempted to take the Forclaz over to Chamonix. We drove it in the other direction a few weeks ago and it is not outrageous gradient-wise and has plenty of good scenery (not least the Mont Blanc).

    Depends where you are going afterwards, though, as getting out of Chamonix to the South without using the flyover may be a bit tricky.


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,968
    culverwood wrote:
    The Great St Bernard is doable. From Lausanne round the lake and up the Rhone valley to Martigny and start climbing. If you are feeling tired you can always get a bus through the tunnel after Bourg St Pierre instead of going over the pass.

    2400m and only really snow free from June to September (no guarantees).

    then that's probably the route he wants if he going Lausanne..

    the advantage of Briancon is the Montgenevre is only a cat 2/1ish compared to dragging himself over the Saint Bernard... but its only one hill

    snow allowing
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,968
    pneumatic wrote:
    From Martigny, I'd be tempted to take the Forclaz over to Chamonix. We drove it in the other direction a few weeks ago and it is not outrageous gradient-wise and has plenty of good scenery (not least the Mont Blanc).

    Depends where you are going afterwards, though, as getting out of Chamonix to the South without using the flyover may be a bit tricky.

    I think the intention (could be wrong) is to get into italy.. I dont think you can use the tunnel?
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    pneumatic wrote:
    From Martigny, I'd be tempted to take the Forclaz over to Chamonix. We drove it in the other direction a few weeks ago and it is not outrageous gradient-wise and has plenty of good scenery (not least the Mont Blanc).

    Depends where you are going afterwards, though, as getting out of Chamonix to the South without using the flyover may be a bit tricky.

    I think the intention (could be wrong) is to get into italy.. I dont think you can use the tunnel?

    Oh, well in that case, don't go by Chamonix because you can't take the tunnel and the next crossing to Italy is the Petit St Bernard about three or four stiff TDF cols later!


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • Clum84Clum84 Posts: 196
    Thanks for the replies. The suggestion of martigny to bourg st pierre seems to suit my plans as i'll be heading down to turin afterwards so dont want to head as far east as germany or austria. Does the bus leave from bourg st pierre and am i assume its ok to travel with a bike? this could be a good option to have as i'll be travelling with only light camping gear which might not be the best if it decides to start snowing!
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  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,968
    Clum84 wrote:
    Thanks for the replies. The suggestion of martigny to bourg st pierre seems to suit my plans as i'll be heading down to turin afterwards so dont want to head as far east as germany or austria. Does the bus leave from bourg st pierre and am i assume its ok to travel with a bike? this could be a good option to have as i'll be travelling with only light camping gear which might not be the best if it decides to start snowing!

    the snow part of the journey will either not exist at all or block your way...

    the climb over the grand st bernard will be over in a few hours.. even if it "snows" while your up there you will be able to walk out back the way you came (or forwards?)

    it is usual for signs to be up if alpine passes are blocked
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • daviddddaviddd Posts: 637
    I did a tour of the southern Alps in 2006 - check the link in my sig Clum. It's a great area to cycle if you like the mountains.
    Oct 2007 to Sep 2008 - anticlockwise lap of Australia... http://www.davidddinoz.blogspot.com/
    French Alps Tour 2006: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=r ... =1914&v=5R
    3 month tour of NZ 2015... http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/nz2014
  • If you are intending to catch the bus, rather than go over the top of the GSB, this can be done at Orsieres or if you want to go as far as possible without going into the tunnel at Bourg St Pierre. It is OK to take your bike on the bus.

    As mididoctors says it will be pretty obvious, weather wise, whether you want to attempt the pass by the time you get to Bourg St Pierre by then you have completed 80% of the climb with only the short sharp ascent on the old road over the top.
  • Clum84Clum84 Posts: 196
    Ok St Bernards pass it is then! Thanks for the all the info, I would still be a bit lost without it. Starting my trip from paris on the 10th so will let you all know how it went once im back.

    Cheers
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