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Advice on alpine cycling end October.

brianonyxbrianonyx Posts: 170
edited October 2011 in Tour & expedition
I have sort of asked this question before.

I have to go to Val Thorens (via Moutier) in end October for a few days and I am going to bring my bike with me.

I think it will be too cold to cycle up the hill to Val Thorens. Has anybody got any advice on a route or ride, ideally starting from Moutier that would be possible at end Oct?

Posts

  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    Didn't Chamonix get 18 inches of snow yesterday? Earliest and heaviest snow fall for 21 years. You might be struggling. Best take skis instead.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
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  • I was thinking of somewhere a bit lower. Are there any decent climbs where it doesn't get higher than 1000 M?
  • PieterMPieterM Posts: 167
    Well the road to Val Thorens is cleared of snow all year so in principle you could cycle there. It would be a cold descent though!
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  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Best bet is to go to viamichelin.com and look at the maps of the area. Look for scenic roads -highlighted in green.
    dilemna wrote:
    Didn't Chamonix get 18 inches of snow yesterday? Earliest and heaviest snow fall for 21 years. You might be struggling. Best take skis instead.

    Snow on the Aiguille du Midi msybe but doesn't look like thefy had much snow in Chamonix itself:

    http://www.chamonix.net/english/webcam/chamcen.htm

    Webcams for LeTour and le Flegère show b-all snow as well. Best take a bike for all the use the skis would get.
    .
  • Val Thorens did have some snow earlier in the week, it's mostly gone now though. I've just booked my skiing there for next April, so check the webcams from time to time. I guess that you could cycle all the way up there at the moment, but it could be pretty cold by the time you get to the top. The first part of the climb, up to St Martin be Belleville is probably OK though. Alternatively go up the first part of the other valleys, to Meribel-les-Allues or La Praz below Courcheval. A bit above 1000, more like 1300 at a guess.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Le Praz is a good suggestion (and yes 1300m sounds about right). Nice restaurant (IIRC).. Saint Bon might be worth a quick look. St Martin de Belleville definitely worth a look as is Les Allues. So really the road that goes along the bottom of the valleys with climbs up the valleys depending on the weather etc. Val Thorens is at 2300 (and many of the pistes somewhat higher than that) likely to be cold at the end of October but unrideable - maybe, maybe not.

    The temperature falls by 6.5 degrees for every 1000 metres of altitude. So at 2300 they are about 15 degrees less than at sea level so at the end of October almost certain to be at about zero degrees.
  • guv001guv001 Posts: 688
    Moutier to BSM along the valley.
  • DavidCrDavidCr Posts: 44
    You could try Col de la Tamie near Albertville, the col is around 950m.

    Not too far from there is the Col de l'Epine and that is about the same altitude. Note that there is another Col de l'Epine near Chambery and is better known than this one near Faverge.

    Closer to Moutiers is Notre dame du Pre, a 10km climb and a good challenge, a decent gradient for the whole climb.

    A good climb in our valley is Montagny above Brides les Bains, around 1150m and on the sunny side of the hill. We often use this in the spring as the roads clear quicker. You could add Champagny to this, at about 1250m.

    The climbs should be okay at the end of the month but obviously you will need to be cautious on the descents. Yesterday was a nice day here, mid 20's and even then the shaded corners were wet in the middle of the day.
  • brianonyxbrianonyx Posts: 170
    Road up to St Martin de belville was fine with lovely weather. Any further up was too cold. Annecy was like mid summer over the weekend.

    Bumped into www.cyclingtours.co.uk in moutier (I think that is what was on the van and they gae some good advice.
  • DavidCrDavidCr Posts: 44
    [quoteBumped into www.cyclingtours.co.uk in moutier (I think that is what was on the van and they gae some good advice[/quote]
    I think this will be www.classiccyclingtours.co.uk, they have a chalet in the Meribel valley.
  • brianonyxbrianonyx Posts: 170
    yep thats more like it. Very friendly chap gave me a few tips on open restaurants in Moutier on a sunday.
  • DavidCr wrote:
    mid 20's and even then the shaded corners were wet in the middle of the day.

    what I wouldn't give for it to be mid 20's and wet in the shaded corners in the middle of the day.....that's not really meant to be rude but now I read it back
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
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