It’s becoming the summer of beautiful Alpine Lake / Dam rides. But this time I went another 14 kilometres past the dam on a small gravel road up into beautiful deserted valleys surrounded by glaciers.
I used a hybrid satellite map above to show how deserted the route is – apart from mountains and glaciers.
The profile above only includes the paved road from Le Chable up to the dam itself at 1,970 metres. It’s a long, sometimes steep, but beautiful climb.
But from the dam, it’s possible to continue much higher on an unpaved road after first passing through perhaps a mile long wet and muddy tunnel that runs uphill beside the lake.
View of the lake from a window in one of the tunnels:
After the tunnel the route winds up and down beside the lake – occasionally on slightly vertiginous roads. I passed several cyclists enjoying the day:
At the end of the lake, I had no clue how far the road would continue, but decided to keep following it. The surface remained fairly good as I continued up through a beautiful valley, again often on slightly vertiginous roads. And just as I expected the road to end it suddenly turned sharply up some great hairpins:
Ultimately, I was able to reach 2500 metres, with the high point being near the alpine “Cabane de Chanrion” – see here for details.
Wonderful views of glaciers and cows:
On its own, the climb to the huge dam is a great ride (do-able by road bike). But adding the mountain bike adventure around the lake and then much higher makes this a top ride.
Quiet / No Traffic