You know it’s a difficult loop when Col de Joux Plane is the easy climb. A stunning ride on the last day before a load of snow.
Starting in Samoëns, the route to Col de la Golèse starts at the same point as the classic west side of Col de Joux Plane. After just a couple of hundred metres it becomes a narrow, single lane road in a tight valley, surrounded by high mountains. It’s paved for the first few kms and then a gravel path just goes up.
The gravel road is fairly crazy. Some stretches were just too steep and slippery (well over 20%) for me to ride, but the surroundings are worth the effort.
I was glad to see that from the Col it was possible to continue over into the Vallée de la Manche. The top two or three kms are steep and were very muddy, so I took my time descending. But the trails soon joins a paved road and a fast descent into Morzine.
At Morzine, the “easy” side of Col de Joux Plane starts. 300 less metres of ascent than the other side, but still steep.
On this beautiful, fairly warm, Saturday, I saw not one other cyclist on Col de Joux Plane. What is wrong with everyone!! 😉
At the Col and desending to Samoëns are incredible views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains.
As I write this it is snowing on most of this route. Very happy that I snuck in this incredible loop.
This was indeed the last day for a “spring-like” ride and you clearly made good use of it.
Are you checking feasibility of a possible 2011 cycling challenge : finding alternatives for big alpine climbs? I’m just thinking of your recent performance of completely ignoring Galibier. Now you call Joux Plane the easy climb of your ride. I wonder how Lance feels about this 😉
Quel dancing!! What a performance!!
Step aside John Travolta?
You were right Will, was definitely worth checking out! A while back I was checking out Onnion for Ski Studios, much better value there than Samoens but still within easy reach of these climbs. I’m calling it a day now – but hoping I’ll dream of these rides. Now I know they’re there they’ve got my name on them, thanks for bringing them to my attention. Another ride I’d like to do is Le Brevent to Taninges – have you done that one? I’d seen someones photos on Flikr
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