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Alpine trip

jim453jim453 Posts: 1,420
edited December 2010 in The bottom bracket
I realise this should be in the tour and expedition section but more traffic here. I'll put it there too.

Off to the Alps in summer.

Looking at staying in montricher-albanne, valloire or similar.

Anyone been there? I know most people stay along the valley floor. How suitable/feasible are these satellite villages/hamlets?
Is it easy to get down from these locales and onto the north side of the Galibier/Telegraphe from here? Is that the best side for relative novices?
Any tips with regards to best arrival airport?
How easy is bike hire?
Top 5 tips for a group undertaking their first alps trip?


Help very appreciated.

Posts

  • nick hansonnick hanson Posts: 1,655
    jim453 wrote:
    I realise this should be in the tour and expedition section but more traffic here. I'll put it there too.

    Off to the Alps in summer.

    Looking at staying in montricher-albanne, valloire or similar.

    Anyone been there? I know most people stay along the valley floor. How suitable/feasible are these satellite villages/hamlets?
    Is it easy to get down from these locales and onto the north side of the Galibier/Telegraphe from here? Is that the best side for relative novices?
    Any tips with regards to best arrival airport?
    How easy is bike hire?
    Top 5 tips for a group undertaking their first alps trip?


    Help very appreciated.

    I've tended to stay somewhere like bourg d'oisans,far more variety of rides on your doorstep,& plenty of bike hire available in Bourg.
    Airport,nearest used in the summer would be Geneva.
    With 5 of you,best hire 2 cars,gives you more flexibility,& the cost of a large vehicle is at least 2 times a couple of basic cars
    Tip,have a cash pool,so you are all paying evenly for drink stops,meals out etc.
    so many cols,so little time!
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    If it's your first time stay with someone who can organise rides eg Alpcycles or there is a firm based at La Paz nr. Bourg St. Maurice. You'll get support on rides and fed. Valloire is no good because it's at the end of the Telegraphe/start of the Galibier which means you are going to have to ride uphill to get back each day. You need to be somewhere relatively flat as a base with access to a number of climbs. There is another firm based partway up the Telegraphe in the Maurienne Valley.
    M.Rushton
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    As mrushton said, Valloire would be a right pain to stay in, I like stopping for an espresso there on the way up the Galibier, but to base there would mean having to keep going up the Telegraphe which is an okay but not amazing climb.

    Bourg St Maurice is a great base, giving you rides straight out via the Iseran, Petit St Bernard and Cormet de Roselend. You always end up descending down into the village at the end of the day, and there are lots of good places to stay.
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • BigG67BigG67 Posts: 582
    Also be careful of when you go. We went in the first week of June in 2009 and the Galibier was shut until the day we were driving home.
  • Been to bourg d'oisans twice now and would recommend it. You always end the day with a downill run home. There's a decent bike shop that also hires bikes and enough food places and cars. In a day you can do the Galibier from the easier side (lauteret) or les deux alpes, alpe d'huez aol du glandon/croix de fer plus a few others. You can do the marmotte route too. Nearest airpost is prob Geneva and it will cost you about 30 euros in tolls each way. You could also fly to Turin and take the scenic route via Briancon.
    If suffer we must, let's suffer on the heights. (Victor Hugo).
  • brucey72brucey72 Posts: 1,086
    As others have said Valloire is not the best base due to its location. I have been cycling in France the last 3 summers and would recommend Bourg D'Oisans from where you can cycle Alpe D'Huez, Glandon/Croix De Fer, Col D'Ornon, Galibier, Lauteret. There are a couple of bike hire places in the town although I had my own bike so can't comment on availability, hire rates etc. There are some decent hotels and good camping facilities. My mate joined us a few days into the holiday and had no problems getting there from Geneva via Grenoble which is about 15 miles away.

    For the second week of the holiday I have stayed in Bourg St Maurice from where, as someone has already said, you can cycle Cormet de Roseland, Petit St Bernard, Iseran, Les Arcs, La Plagne. A nice town with excellent camping facilities and a TGV train station and I saw a few bike shops there too.

    Both these towns are in the valley so at the end of the day you are always cycling back down the hill to where you started.

    This website is very helpful when researching the climbs of the Alps:

    www.grenoblecyclingpages.com
  • jim453jim453 Posts: 1,420
    Thank you for for all the help. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • AndyRubioAndyRubio Posts: 880
    edited November 2010
    +1 what brucie72 said. Bourg is great.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Bourg st.Maurice also has a nice cycle path down by the river for approx.13km or you can take the older valley road along the hillsides. The main road from Moutiers is quite fast but perfectly rideable (NB- NOT the Autoroute!). You can also take the train thro'to Moutiers and this will put you into the Trois Vallees area with climbs to Courchevel/Val Thorens (32km) and Valmorel and the Madeleine over to the Maurienne valley. From Bourg you can also do the 50km route to the summit of the Iseran (it's a 50km descent coming back :D )
    M.Rushton
  • MarjMJMarjMJ Posts: 35
    jim453
    definintely +1 for the grenoble cycling pages and would suggest either BSM or Bourg D'O as good bases. Both are reasonable sized but pleasant enough towns with plenty apts, hotels etc to stay in. If you want to try southern alps, you could try Serre Chevalier/Briancon as base. The Lauteret and Galibier are accessible, as are the Izoard, and if you are feeling hard you could do Lauteret, Alpe D;Huez then back up the Lauteret. Or whip round the corner and try the Agnel... Not sure about road bike hire in Serre Che, but there is certainly plenty MTB hire. It is reachable 4 hours from Geneva - just a bit further on over the Lauteret from Bourg D'Oisans. Turin is about 2 hours away.

    I would suggest you aim for places like these as smaller hamlets are few and far between in the mountains. However, as the French do love lunch, you can find some nice little caffs selling fab lunches in spectacular places, so you should be ok for a fill up. [maybe this is a woman thing tho :lol: ]

    getting to BSM is pretty straightforward by autoroute from Geneva, as is Bourg D. Getting round Grenoble can be entertaining.

    French motorways are of course tolls. If you have no roof boxes, a speedy passage can be had if you put all your tolls onto a credit card that doesn't charge for eu transactions.

    bring a REALLY BIG memory card for your camera. :D. The view from the top of the Galibier is fantastic, and the cormet de Roselend is sublime, as is the Iseran.
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