An alpine Lake adventure:
To begin, I cycled up to Barrage (dam) du Saut – the 13th highest paved road in France at 2280 metres (it’s a side road below Tignes above the Lac du Chevril off the main road to Col de l’Iseran / Val d’Isère).
The route on the map has an early climb that I aborted because it was far too steep to bike
Early slopes above Lac du Chevril:
For 28 great cycling climbs to Alpine dams/lakes see here.
The paved road ends at Barrage/Lac du Saut (no photo). But I had a cross bike and continued higher on a good quality unpaved road. It passes through a high alpine valley and is not very steep, gently climbing to the Lac (and dam) de la Sassiére – 2460 metres.
Above this lake is the decrepit remains of an old military “road” (I think), that is still just about ride-able. Near 2700 metres it has been destroyed by landslides so from here I was mainly carrying the bike on hiking trails.
I passed another Lake, Lac du Santel at 2718 metres.
I did this climb 2 years ago, also in the first week in July and there was far, far more snow nearing the summit. But today the path was clear with just a few snow drifts. Great views though.
The Col de la Bailletta is at 2853 metres.
Over the top is a hiking trail that descends down to the main road a little above Val d’Isère. But it seemed far too steep to be any fun with a bike.
I would later find out that I wasn’t supposed to take a bike above Lac de la Sassière. Oops, sorry. Although I only saw a handful of people, I suppose this is the last time I’ll do this super-scenic route (at least, on a bike).