Champorcher and Above


Another fairly big climb in Valle d’Aosta, Italy. The weather has been tough recently and there were storms in the forecast, so I took few photos in an attempt to beat the rain. This climb is 18.5 kms long, and goes to the end of the paved road. But an unpaved road goes much higher. But given the dark clouds, I took the road bike.

If you have ever driven through the Aosta valley you have likely seen Fort Bard perched above the auto-route. The climb starts at the base of this fort. Most of the climb is on a fairly big road. It’s not busy, but it’s not quiet either. It starts by climbing several hairpins and then just heads into a tight valley.

Fort Bard

Fort Bard

For more climbs in the Aosta region see here.

There are a few short tunnels. Nothing bad, with a side lane for bikes. But for the darkest
one I took the overgrown old road around.

Old road bypasses tunnel

Old road bypasses tunnel

I have an Aosta route card for this ride and it ends at Chardoney (spelled correctly) a flattish kilometre past Champorcher. But the more interesting option is to turn up at Champorcher for 4.5 kilometres of very fun hairpins. The best part of the climb.

Above Champorcher

Above Champorcher

I have no pics of the last stretch as it started to rain. But it’s excellent. Hikers park at the end of the paved road and there were quite a few people deciding what to do about the weather. I put on a couple of jackets and made a mental note to return to explore the unpaved road which should be ride-able far higher.

Despite being the slowest descender in existence, I managed to outride the rain after a few kilometres and safely made it back to the start. An enjoyable and quick up-down ride.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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