Alps, Southern France, May 2005 − Travels − Captain Tom

Alps, Southern France, May 2005

Something completely different. This time I go together with Wolfgang into the Alps in Southern France. I have not been there yet. Wolfgang has. In total we made 3936 km (2446 miles) and most of it was pure fun.

It was a little bit early in the year and previous winter had a lot of snow. So the big and spectacular passes were closed. Partially we had to adjust the routes on the spot. But it is a reason to go there again.

Day 1

Riding over country roads from Berlin to Schwabmünchen as usual. 431 miles

Day 2 Schwabmünchen - Martigny

We go via Bregenz, Watwil, Rickenpass, Schwyz, Andermatt to Furkapass and Martigny in Switzerland. 314 miles

506 Kilometer
Heavy rain for most of the time. passing Furka and Col de Montets in rain and fog is not much fun but it we can do
Departure in Schwabmünchen in rain
Break at Urner See Lake. We wanted to circle around it in clockwise direction but this would have been worked only by taking the Autobahn. So we turned towards South and went to Furkapass
Furka pass in the rain
Day 3 Martigny - Bourg-Saint-Maurice

We want to proceed southwestbound. But Grand St. Bernard is closed and we have to take the tunnel. Petit St. Bernard is closed without notice and we need to go through 7 miles long Mont Blanc tunnel. 212 miles

It rains again but we get some sun from time to time
We go over
  • Grand St. Bernhard - Tunnel (Pass closed
  • through Aostatal
  • Mont Blanc Tunnel (Petit St. Bernard closed
  • to Cluses
  • Col du Colombiere
  • Col du Aravis
  • Col des Saisies
  • Col du Pré
  • Col du Roselend
Mont Blanc Tunnel - northern exit
Col du Colombiere
Col du Aravis
Col du Pré - I guess it is a pass with brilliant views but I cannot see much due to rain and fog
Lac de Roselend - again just rain and fog
Day 4 Bourg-Saint-Maurice - Le Freney d'Oisans

Weather has changed. Sun is shining and sky is blue. We decide to repeat Col de Roselend and Col du Pré. It was really worth it. In particular views from Col do Pré are gorgeous. We have to leave out Col du Madelaine. It is still closed. 203 miles

Die Route geht über
  • Col du Roselend
  • Col du Pré
  • Col du Forclaz
  • via Albertville (Col du Madeleine closed)
  • to la Chambre
  • Col du Glandon
  • Col de la Croix la Fer
  • via Saint Jean-de-Maurienne and Villargondran
  • Col du Mollard
  • Col de la Croix la Fer
  • Alp d'Huez
  • Col de Sarenne
327 Kilometer
Snow on Col de Roselend
Wolfgang takes pictures on Col de Roselend
Lac de Roselend
Gorgeous views on Col du Pré
Here we got lost. View to Gros Genier (9554 ft) close to Albiez-le-Vieux
View from Col de al Croix de Fer to Saint-Solin-d'Arves
View close to Col de Sarenne next to Alp d'Huez
Day 5 Le Freney d'Oisans - Chichilianne

After we have seen the terrible ski hotels in Alp d'Huez the day before we go on small mountain roads back to Bourg-d'Oisans which is located below Alp d'Huez and we proceed from there. 222 miles

  • Col d'Ornon
  • Col de l'Holme
  • Around Lac du Sautet to Saint Didier
  • Col du Noyer ist surprisingly closed so we take Col du Festre
  • Moutain road La Freissinousse, Lac le Pelleautier, Lardier-Et-Valenca
  • Col d'Espraux
  • Col du Festre
  • Western side of Lac du Sautet
  • Col du Saint-Sébastien
  • Col du Men
  • Col du La Croix-Haute
  • Col du Grimone
  • Col du Menée
  • Chichiliane
Tom on mountain road above Le Bourg-D'Oisans
View to the valley at Le Bourg-D'Osisans.
Col de l'Holme
Doing some business in the middle of French nowhere close to Barcillonnette just before Col d'Espréaux
Nice gorge after Col du Grimone
Col du Menée
Hotel in Chichilianne is an old castle. Quite nice there
Tom the dog whisperer. I had a friend within minutes.
Day 6 Chichiliane - Taninges

We have passed the most southern part of the tour the day before. Now we go northbound. 243 miles

  • towards La Mure
  • Col de Malissol
  • northbound towards Grenoble always over small mountain roads
  • Col Luitel
  • Chamrousse
  • Col des Mouilles
  • Col des Ayes
  • Col du Barioz
  • to Albertville
  • Col de Tamié
  • to Flumet
  • Col du Aravis
  • Col du Colombiere
  • Taninges
  • Morine
  • Col de l'Encrenaz
  • Taninges
View back to Chichiliane with Mont Aiguille
This time a very nice view on Col du Colombiere
Day 7 Tangines - Schwägalp

Home comes closer. We go into Switzerland to Schwägalp. It is some more distance and the ist the boring road between Martigny and Brigg. Weather is great. We go 275 miles

  • to Cluses, Chamonix
  • Col de Montets
  • Col de Forclaz
  • Martigny
  • we treat ourselves with an extra loop via Col des Planches and Pas du Lein before we go to Brigg
  • Furkapass
  • Klausenpass
  • Rickenpass at Wattwil
  • Schwägalpstraße
The white mountain literally. And the summit. Highest point of the Alps
Boring road from Martigny to Brigg
We treat ourselves with an extra loop via Col des Plances and Pas du Lein. The entry looks quite promising
View to the valley at Pas du Lein
Rhone glacier
Western ramp of Furka pass
View to Southern ramp of Grimsel pass
River Rhone meanders away
View to Furka pass
Tom checks position on Furka pass
Wolfgang on Furka pass
View down from Klausenpass (Eastern ramp)
Day 8 Schwägalp - Schwabmünchen

Return home. My tires are worn off so we have scheduled a tire change in Schwabmünchen. So we have a rather short leg in front of us and it is rather boring. Switzerland slows us down with many main through-roads. But we will be in Schwabmünchen at noon. 121 miles

  • Schwägalp summit
  • Appenzell
  • Bregenz
  • Wangen
  • Memmingen
  • Mindelheim
  • Schwabmünchen
Driving of cattle to alpine pastures at Schwägalp
Tire change in Schwabmünchen
Day 9 Schwabmünchen - Berlin

The usual ride home to Berlin 420 km