Skip to main content

Tour du Mont Blanc: Voie Toller- Italy

10:30- 6 hours riding- Val Ferret, Val d'Aoste, Italy

This was our first off-road descent of the day and we both knew it was steep to begin with so took it easy.  Jo with his slicks, and me with Euro brakes (front and back on the wrong side of handlebars) we rode a reasonable amount, hopped some drainage channels, and shouldered our bikes down the rocky steps.
Jo near the top
We came out of the mist around the Elena Refuge and we joined the firetrack down.  Big wheels, tyres and suspension allowed me to open it up a bit, however Jo took it cautiously with his rigid forks.  In no time at all we were zooming down the road towards Courmayeur and FOOD!
Pimped Piaggio!

11:30- Supermarcato, Courmayeur


With our bikes lent up outside we bought cans of drink, crisps, chocolate, cheese, sliced meat, bread rolls, focaccia and a giant slice of watermellon. €15 each and much to the dismay of the supermarket workers we stuffed our faces:
Re-fueling time 
Jo and his watermellon

12:05- Ascent of Val Veny, Italy 

As we left Courmayeur we were now committed to getting to Chamonix.  Courmayeur had been a potential pickup point for my girlfriend if we'd been suffering.  The weather was good.  We'd eaten a whole load of food, drank several cans of fizzy drink and we wanted to get back to France.

Almost straight away your into a horrendous road climb that heads over the motorway and up into the Val Veny. We were passed by a whole collection of Italian characters that kept us amused, chavs wheel spinning, greasy city types going very slowy in their Merc and a big black 4x4 Merc that nearly stalled turning in the road whilst following their ginger, lycra clad Son riding his mountain bike up the road.

The road came to an end and the inevitable pushing began, not for too long as we hit the stunning Roman road section.
Me nearing the Roman Road 13:40 
Roman Road 13:40 
Toilets left over from the UTMB
Jo with the Roman road behind him
More snack stops and we were onto the final push up to the Col de le Seigne.

Water stop
Me stretching out
We had a quick look inside the Exhibition hut near the Col and Jo was amazed how far round we were, it looked like we were over 3/4 of the way. Just the Bonhomme left, easy?

We also amazed some French Walkers with our exploits, and when we said we were heading for Chamonix, at 15:00 in the afternoon, they asked many times, "Aujourd' hui?"
"oui oui!" we responded.

15:20 Col de la Seigne (2516m), French/Italian boarder- 12 hours riding/walking
3 hours and 20mins of climbing and we'd made it to the Col.  It was with great relief that we headed down the best descent of the day.  If not the best descent of the whole TMB...

bye bye Italy



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Aiguille de la Grande Sassiere 3751m

One of those pure adventure days *warning mega photo post*Ali-venturing as it's been known by over the summer.  When Ali from trailAddiction gets grand idea's in his head it always leads to hike-a-bike. Read here on DIRT Mag about a previous mission, its the highest rideable peak in the alps!
A special team was organised:  A top ten finishing team from the Bivouac Enduro, Mael and Max, Ali, myself and Fred the mountain bike mechanic from Mavic. All keen, all stupid?
And then my alarm went off at 04:30.  Time to eat and drink as much as possible.  I hadn't been up this early since ski touring in refuges last winter.  In my tired state I did subconsciously know how to load the bikes onto the trailer, it's easy after doing it everyday all summer.  We drove up towards Val d'Isere, then turned left up a singletrack road.  It was around 6am, and it was still pitch black. Slowly the sun began to rise: And the hike-a-bike continued and turned into carry-a-bike, but with the su…

That time in February when I forgot my gloves and didn't get cold hands...

Seasons are changing in the mountains.Its been the shortest "off season" that I have known.  It's been growing shorter over the last few years but riding into the the new year was something I have not done since I lived in the UK.  The skiing season is getting shorter and more temperamental.  We shouldn't have been riding dry trails in Aosta Valley on the fitth day of the new year.  We did, and we had a blast thanks to the generous hospitality of the locals.  Read more about inter season on Lorner's blog here: http://www.lornecameron.com/2017/the-longest-autumn/
With skiing stoke low I went for a ride in Servoz.  Now picture the scene, its the twenty something of February 2017, at 1000 metre altitude and I can't find my gloves in my riding pack.  I suffer from cold hands at the slight hint of mild air.  In winter you will find several pairs of thick gloves in my backpack, even in spring or autumn there could well be two pairs in my riding pack.  However on thi…

What guides do between work in the peak of July

Summer is here, and after fantastic spring riding in Southern France and then all over Valais, Aosta and Haute Savoie with good friends it's been time to get back to summer guiding, taking hikers around the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit.  There's much worse things to do, but with three weeks off the bike I was itching to get back on some trails.

With a carefully planned week between tours I was excited and made some plans to hit up some classic lines, and some new stuff too. It's mid July now, so in Chamonix valley you have to think carefully about where to go to miss the crowds, and to avoid going on the bike ban trails (July & August).  Luckily it's still easy to find quiet trails in nearby resorts, or to simply drop round the back of a hill away from the frontside lifts. It went a little like this:

Day 1- La Thuile with Wayne of newly qualified French legal mountain bike guiding service Chamonixmtb.com . Enduro race venue at it's best, rough and raw.



Day 2- Blue b…