Lac de Tseuzier

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High in the mountains of the Canton of Valais are several huge alpine dams, including some of the tallest in the world (eg. Grande Dixence, Mauvoisin).

tseuz250Some of the biggest and most beautiful cycling climbs I know are up to these dams. See more here. The Barrage de Tseuzier (or Zeuzier) is yet another high altitude dam in the region.

Most big climbs get better and better as one gets higher. But this climb, starting from Saint-Leonard (near Sion – see map below) is great from the very start. The Valais is the biggest wine producing region in Switzerland, and lots of climbs start up through vineyards. But this route is an especially nice start. A contoured, hairpins 5 kilometre stretch with grapes:

Curvy vineyard climb

Curvy vineyard climb

Vineyards

Vineyards

Leaving the vineyards, the route passes through a couple of villages, and one very, very steep stretch:
Steep
Next, the road leaves civilisation. It is a long drag with few hairpins, but gets more and more interesting as one gets higher. Nearing the dam are several tunnels, a couple are very, very long, but this is Switzerland: the longest were lit! So even I wasn’t too scared.

Tunnel

Tunnel

The last couple of kilometres are virtually flat but mainly in tunnels:

Several long, but lit, tunnels

Several long, but lit, tunnels

After the last tunnel, one arrives at the dam/lake. Not surprisingly for June, the Lake wasn’t too full. It is likely even more beautiful later in the year.
The road is completely paved until the lake – perfect for a road bike. There is a good surfaced, unpaved road beside the lake, but one can’t go too far.

I really enjoyed this big climb to yet another beautiful Valais dam/lake. Fun.

Lac de Tseuzier

Lac de Tseuzier

Dam and Lac de Tseuzier

Dam and Lac de Tseuzier

Barrage de Tseuzier

Barrage de Tseuzier

Route 2,655,603 – powered by www.bikemap.net

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Happiest while cycling uphill. More enthusiastic than talented, my 2014 Challenge is to cycle 50 great rides, slowly.

4 Comments

  1. This is a road that I’ve wanted to do for a while. When looking at it on the map, I’ve often wondered how easy it would be to get higher above the dam, possibly all the way to the Rawil Pass, although it appears that some hiking may be required. Do you know anything about that option?

  2. Hi Chris, Honestly I don’t know, but my impression was there was no easy or not-too-crazy way to go very far with a bike behind the lake

  3. Hi Will,

    Congratulations for the great post & climb! It’s a pity that you already rode it, I would have liked to accompany you to that fantastic location. I’m currently in Bavaria and did a nice trip yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll drive to the Dolomites and maybe I’ll climb Umbrail or Stelvio “en passant”.
    Cheers and hope to cycle with you again soon …

  4. I did this route (almost exact, just started a little further west) two years ago – it was the first time I’d ever ridden my bike up a mountain and I absolutely loved it. Currently planning a return to Switzerland next summer!

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