Emosson Dam – Switzerland
It never gets easier…. head down, and suck it up sweetheart.
I used to cycle a lot back in the UK. Dabbled in time trials (got a little bit good to be honest) but this year, my main focus has been on skiing, and climbing.
And boy did I feel it.
70km return trip from Cham. The main climb is 11km(!), and around 2600m of total ascent there and back.
June is a great time for cycling, it’s warm enough to enjoy the heat and the main tourism season is a way off. Col de Montets is a nightmare facing diesel guzzlers on the way up, aaaand getting stuck behind them on the way down.
You cycle down brilliant roads through Vallorcine, a quiet French village tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Chamonix. Viewing some amazing crags, beautiful chalets and quite a few cows before hitting barberine, and the swiss border.
After around 1 hour cycling you cross over a bridge and start the long, slow ascent.
The next village, Finhaut, survives mainly on tourism. I wondered about accesibility during the winter, as the road straight through the village has a gradient of around 25-30% (we didn’t take that road up).
And that is where the pain starts.
The climb does not relent. Switchback, after beautiful switchback awaits. Each turn unveils more scenery that is well worth the burning lungs.
The feeling in my legs after turning round the last bend and seeing the top in my sights could only be described as Jelly. Considering it had been two months since I’d sat on the damn thing (although it is my pride and joy), I was immensely happy to still be on the bike at the top!
Energy recover time: one well earned sleep
Time it took to comfortably sit down: two days
Views and accomplishment: priceless