Link to detailed route page and map click on route title
The weather forecast looked good until late afternoon thunderstorms so we made the first lift and headed to the top of Tracouet. We found the descent down from Tracouet easier than the other week, even though with the recent thunderstorms and downpours the track was in worse condition and some areas more washed out. My confidence on the bike and handling skills have improved which makes it a lot more fun. Decided not to stop for coffee in Siviez but made our way straight to the Gentianes Tram and had a coffee at the top of the Col.
It was cool at the top of the col but not as cold as we had feared although we both needed our windproofs and a light thermal on in addition to our cycle top. We had decided to vary the normal route by heading to the bottom of the valley thereby extending the cycle by some 25km. It was therefore a very long ride down to the valley floor, just over 2,000m of descent over 20km. The top section was the most rocky and challenging as it wound its way down the red run but once we got below the Cabane du Mont Fort the trail become much smoother and after a short distance turned into a paved road through beautiful small hamlets. A really delightful cycle down. Stopped off for another coffee in the valley before heading to the lift station at Le Châble where we got the lift up to Les Ruinettes via Verbier.
The next section is one of my favourites, a contour trail to Croix de Coeur, with great views to enjoy on an easy to ride path. I saw a mobile phone that someone had dropped, we picked it up and asked the couple riding about 100yds ahead of us if it was theirs. Turned out they were an American couple, it was theirs and they were mighty relieved that we had found it (it had fallen out of his pocket), although they did not realise they had lost it.
As there was enough time in the day we cycled back down to Verbier and got the Savoleyeres lift back up to the pass for the ride down to La Tsoumaz. A really nice descent on good roads although there was a lot of gravel on some sections which had been resurfaced so we had to go easy on the corners. By the time we got to La Tsoumaz our hands, wrists and shoulders were aching quite a bit. Although the majority of the ride was downhill the uneven tracks on the higher sections and the constant breaking required for most of the descending took their toll. So it was time for a break and a welcome beer at the bottom before the ride back up to Nendaz.
– a long day, lots of down, most of it very enjoyable, some challenging but even that was good to accomplish
– fantastic views, ride down to the valley floor was very special
– jam and cheese sarnie for lunch was not really enough and we were a bit wobbly by the end
– aching hands from all the breaking
– enjoyed revisiting a ride we last did a bit 12 years ago, and finding that It was equally as memorable and fun
– tasty steak and bottle of red wine to wind off the day
Here is a video of our ride