The majority of the big cols (passes) in the French Alps are still closed to traffic due to the winter’s snows not yet being cleared.? With the abundance of snow this winter the openings have been delayed although the Col de Glandon opened at the end of the week.
Pat and I decided to cycle towards the Madeleine, not with the intention of crossing it back to get some exercise and benefit from the quiet road with no through traffic.
The entire climb to the Madeleine is 26 km and the first section rising up in a series of hairpins from Feissons-sur-Isere is quite steep.? After this a turn to the right for the village of Pussy sees an easing in the angle and a chance to relax.? The next village is that of Bonneval en Tarentaise, clinging to the steep hillside.
We could see the new chairlift that connects Cellier with Valmorel and just as we approached a heavy, thundery shower saw us head for some cover that the departure point of the lift could provide.? Thankfully it passed in about 5 minutes and we climbed the last couple of 100m’s to the village.? Sadly the hotel was closed, so no chance to drink or eat something here.
A long descent ensued apart from the tiny “faux plat” before Bonneval.? Down in the valley we soon warmed up and the final climb back to Le Villard had the legs working once more. Always the sting in the tail when I leave from home.