Ovronnaz and up to Lac de FullyBy Will • Nov 15th, 2012 • Category: Climbs, Cycling
Above: In search of Lac de Fully
Ovronnaz is a little ski station in the Valais region of Switzerland that has featured recently in the Tour de Suisse. It’s a beautiful and steep 10 kilometre climb.
Vineyards down low, south facing for plenty of sun on a cool November day, and dozens of amazing hairpins:
The profile above is only for the climb to Ovronnaz. It’s completely paved. But from there, I took a gravel road in search of Lac de Fully. It’s a high quality, unpaved road, initially through a forest and then along a ridge with views of the Valais plain below.
After a few easy kilometres the route turns up again. It’s a fun, traffic-free road, winding ever higher, with snowy peaks high overhead.
At approximately 1800 metres (marked on the map above) the road ends at L’Erie. There is a little parking lot and a hiking trail-head.
I realized I was still along way from the lakes, but decided to continue on the hiking trail – see top photo. It is mainly ride-able but with the wet and some snow ….. and some vertiginous narrow ledges looking straight down to the valley far below … I walked much of the route.
But thoroughly enjoyed myself, as did my bike:
After a few kilometres, at just over 2100 metres, I turned a corner and looked into a completely snow filled valley and caught site of Lac de Fully Inferieur below. There is a larger dam / lake higher up to the right, Lac de Fully Superieur, but there was too much snow to continue.
As best I can tell, there is no road up to these lakes, one stops a little below and then there is a small cable-car thing. I did see some huts being resupplied a several times by a helicopter.
I considered descending and looking for a trail down, but given the snow, the shortage of daylight, and my tired legs, I decided to just due an about face and return back the way I came.
All-in-all a great mid-November adventure up high. Maybe I’ll return next summer and try to get to the bigger lake.