at Geneva Airport, built bikes and hid cardboard bike boxes. Took the train from
airport to Lausanne. Followed the shore of Lake Geneva to St Gingolph. Found
some nice cycle routes on the way. The original plan was to sleep rough 1000m
above the lake but arriving at St Gingolph by dusk we stayed in a cheap hotel
decorated in the 50’s. We left our sleeping bags here and reduced our
equipement even further – cycling shoes only, cycle shorts/top and spare
shorts and 1 t-shirt plus waterproofs.
St Gingolph at 9am following GR5 to Novel Chalet on good tarmac road. At end of
tarmac continue on dirt track then turn left onto single track. Climb this for
500m height gain until reaching Chalet ????Novera????.
to 200m climbing to the Col ( 1900m). Descend to Chalet de Bise (1550m). Clim to
to Col de Bise (1850). Descend 300m and contour east across medows, aiming for
the ridge Col Vernaz, (French Swiss border). We wanted to take the ridge to
Morgins. Following the ridge we made a mistake above Chatel, we did not have a
map for this section. We therefore decended to Chatel and stayed the night at an
back road and tracks to Morgins. Quite road leads to track climbing to ridge
(Point de Chesery). Follow ridge south passing high above Avoriaz. This ridge
ascends and decends a lot and feels like hard work. Finally the big descent of
the ridge and a little contouring arringing at a Refuge for beer. The final big
big decent to Sixt-fer-cheval. We stayed at the Etape Hostel in Salvagny.
Nant Borrant. Heavy rain at night and still raining in the morning. We
climb the road and carry bikes to a beatiful plateu with a refuge. Recommended
to stop here. We continued to ???Col de Anteane???? . Fine views over Mont Blanc.
Huge decent to Servoz. We took combination of road and track, do not descend
directly this is very steep. Then climb a back road and nice track to Cable Car
(800m ascent). Decend to Contamine Valley. Followed Roman Salt Road (track) to
Nant Borrant Chalet. Very pleasant accomodation and friendly.
Borrant – Courmayer. More carrying of bikes to the Col de Bonhomme (900m
climbing). Amazing traverse of ridge to Col Savigny. Descend road to valley and
ascend to Col Serigne (Italian Border, 2500m). Fantastic descent to Courmayer.
Very heavy rainfall in Courmayer. All cheap holtels were closed! We left town to
the Col Ferret to find accomodation. We spotted something and this was the
Italian Tourist Association Hut. They do not normally take guests (despite the
name) but we were welcomed and had a marvelous evening of italian hospitality,
good food and strong spirits ( herbal vodka similar).
- Champex: A fine day and a gentle clim up the meadowed Col Ferret valley and a
steep climb to Hotel Elena. Carry bikes to Col Ferret (2530m, not to bad a climb).
Flowing descent into Switzerland. At the road head ( Chalet/Cafe), take the
single track contouring and decending on the west side of the valley (stunning
riding). This turns into a track and you can avoid the road altogether. Nice
track and climb to Champex ( some walking as usual).
– St Gingolph: Starting with a road descent and then track and single track
climb to Bovine (1987m, obligatory portage of bikes) and descent technical track
to Col de Forclaz (1500). Desend 2 km direction Chamonix and take hiking track
down Gorge du Trient to Vernayaz. This is a high track above the valley floor,
some sections have a good deal of exposure for the unacustomed ( take care ).
Cycle tracks for 44km to St Gingolph.
St Gingolph to Geneva. Took main road to Thonon Les Bains and then followed lake
shore via Yvoire to Geneva. At the Airport our bicyle carboard boxes where still
where we hid them.