Above: Col de Bassachaux without and with snow.
The plan was to cycle up Col de la Joux Verte.
I knew the road was still closed, but it’s been so warm we thought with mountain bikes that we’d be OK.
It’s a great climb from Morzine past Lac Montriond up to Les Lindarets (goat town in the summer). But at 1500 metres the road was unrideable.
I’d mentioned to Eric that Col de Bassachaux was above us and in the summer there was a trail linking it with Joux Verte. With no route to ride we decided to search for the Col.
This meant pushing the bikes up steep, snow covered slopes.
We didn’t have a detailed map and didn’t really know where we were going. At over 1800 metres we finally saw a little hiking sign and turned left still a little uncertain.
Our feet were soaked and freezing, the views were great, the snow deep and we slogged on.
Ahead we saw the top of a sign peaking out of the snow: woohooo a Col sign. Around the corner was a little restaurant and there was someone inside. Civilisation. A friendly guy came out and started calling us crazy. I asked if the road on the other side was cleared and he laughed: “for bikes? No!” he had snowshoed up.
There was no turning back, so we followed the path, eventually finding a cleared road above Chatel ski station. The only problem now was we were in the wrong valley. So to get back required climbing Col de Corbier.
Frankly, I was out of gas, Eric (doubling back) informed me that there was beer at the top – and bought me a glass of much needed fuel.
After descending Corbier the road back to Morzine was closed and I had a hilly detour that delayed me enough to spend the last 15 minutes of the ride in a serious hailstorm. OUCH!
Although this 6+ hour adventure exhausted me, Eric (a distant cousin of Superman) had ridden 60 kms to meet me and had another 60 home – while I drove!