Valsavarenche is one of many “finger” valleys extending into the high Alps from the Vallée d’Aoste. It is part of the huge and beautiful Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso.

It is also the back way down from Colle del Nivolet – maybe (maybe!) my favourite climb anywhere. I wanted to see if it was possible to get up to Nivolet from here.

It’s a 26 kilometre climb that is rarely too steep. The road is quiet, wide, and well surfaced. Not too many hairpins as the ride relentless heads straight into the Graian Alps.

I used a hybrid, as I hoped to make it to Nivolet, but this climb to Pont is entirely paved.
Autumn in the Alps means the Larch are changing colours. And I was excited to wear my new Canada kit!



Oh Canada

Oh Canada

The paved road ends at 1966 metres at Pont. One can continue for a little on a gravel road through a plateau where there is cross country skiing in winter. But I was disappointed to see that it was ridiculous to expect to get to Col delle Nivolet high above without carrying the bike most of the way. Basically, the road ends and there is a steep, rocky hiking trail. I took it for a while, but in late October, the north facing trail was already dark, and the adventure made no sense. Oh well.

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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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