A few years ago, Doreen and I hiked up to Lac de Gers. As we reached the plateau with the lake we were passed by a mountain biker. “How the heck did he get up here,” I thought to myself. And of course I added the lake to my “to-do list.”
I started near Samoëns. The first four kilometres or so are on the road to Plateau des Saix (Samoëns 1600), a very challenging road bike climb – details here.
The route then turns off onto little forest road that soon becomes unpaved (and very muddy after all the recent rain). At times, especially at first, it is extremely steep. But I managed to (slowly) pedal most of it. Eventually, it becomes easier, leaves the woods, and enters a plateau. The lake is at the far end.
There is a nice gîte/restaurant beside the lake – perfect for refueling. I have cycled the other side of the top of those mountains behind the lake – a superb mountain bike route to the top of Flaine ski station – see here. I wanted to see if I could reach it from here.
There is a “road” marked on the map. It’s basically a ski slope. But I headed up. At roughly 1850 metres the road ends and it becomes a steep, rocky, hiking trail. I started up, but soon decided it was silly carrying the bike as I started to run into snow drifts. But it was a nice day, so I left my bike there and started hiking higher.
The trail actually improves higher up, and looks perhaps ride-able. Except today it was covered in snow and I got worried I would fall off. I was about to prudently turn around when I realised I could just walk straight up the ski slope.
The last stretch to cross over to the Flaine side (beside Tête Pelouse) looked very steep and had too much snow. So instead, I wandered up the left ridge – the Combes des Foges – just above 2300 metres – so I could see Mont Blanc.
I was having fun.
I saw dozens of Marmottes and even several Chamoix, although I couldn’t get close enough for a good photo.
This was a lot of fun. It’s always worth remembering that sometimes hiking is a good option at the top end of a bike ride.