Thursday, 20 September 2012

Day 2 – Trans Alp Challenge. Les Gets to Samoens to Megeve

Day 2 – Trans Alp Challenge

Les Gets to Samoens to Megeve

  • Distance Travelled – 35km
  • Vertical metres climbed – 1,056 m
  • Time on saddle – 6.5 hours
  • Beers - 2
  • Condition – very tired!
  • State of mind – relieved!

If I had any illusions that this trip was ever going to be easy, they have been well and truly shattered into a million shards of mountain rock. Steep never ending climbs and seriously steep downhill sections with loose rocks and boulders the size of small countries. If they were not going to get you then the ‘Triffid’ sized slippery roots most certainly would!

Jack Frost greeted us this morning at 7.30 am, a hearty breakfast was welcome. Our chalet hosts waved goodbye, wished us luck as we went up the Col du Jouxplane, more famous for the numerous Tour de France stages it has held and amazing views of Mont Blanc. No road for us as we headed upwards on uneven trails towards the sun and the high peak in the distance with a foreboding ‘Cross’ on it! We were greeted with stunning scenery and distant views of Samoens way below us in the valley beneath.

We just flew down across meadows, goats, herds of sheep and gnarly wild boar hunters whom apparently will shoot at anything that moves. Lucky I was barely doing that with my brakes burning hot through over use at times as steep just does not quite seem fitting! 

Samoens lunch was superb  in the village square at Le Chasseur (the Hunter)! it seemed to have Hunter Plat du Jour - Locally shot, caught and casseroled wild boar with Cous cous! Fridays and Mondays apparently the local speciality it is 'Ragout of Mountain Biker'! Glad today was a Thursday!

Up from Samoens to the ski area at 1,600 meters and further climbing for 1.5 hours. Adrian took an early fall, flying down an easy section and then he fell to the ground as though he had been shot! Where was the gnarly hunter with shotgun?

Dusting himself down  and checking all limbs we carried further up to only where goats still stood. Then fast down through the ski area of Flaine (I skied here when I was 10) over jumps into gulleys and down black ski runs into the stunning gorge with sheer 100 metre high cliff walls either side and a beautiful shimmeriung lake, just takes your breath away (I want one of these for my garden). 

Back to reality - a few moments later my chain snapped on the tough rock climb section. We then navigate the 1,000m waterfall section  down steep mountain rocky paths across suspended bridges, hairpins and sheer drops on one side with theb track on 2-3 foot wide - hugging the rocks was a good plan. Fabrice called this Technical and Exposed he says with a small knowing smile! I am learning what his terms mean now.

Down safe and laughing like lucky hyenas - new shoes and pedals required though - off to the shop!

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