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 Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps

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PostSubject: Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps   Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:05 pm

Hi, Here's my results for fun of my 2008 tour of the Alps (some comments refer to the french Club des Cent Cols ("CC cols" are passes recognised by that club) ("rossini" refers to George Rossini's guide to Italian passes (which is known to contain some false (created) passes, but is still a helpful resource as the CC guides for Italy are not always accurate either or complete):

4916,7 km 29 days = 170 km/day (174 km/day discounting the "rest day" for 28 days.)
105454 m 29 days = 3636m/day (3722m/day for the 28 days)

Day 1 – Wednesday June 25th, 16 cols (10 CC cols)
Bergamo - Gargnano
(183,6 km, 3926m, 22-34°C)
Colle del Gallo IT-BG-0763 (Madonna di Ciclisti)
Solto Collina 628 rossini
Passabocche IT-BS-1297
Foppello Croce Marino IT-BS-1285
Colle San Zeno IT-BS-1434
Passo del Santellone IT-BS-0873
Passo del Termine IT-BS-0954
Passo della Santa IT-BS-0941
Le Cucche IT-BS-0460
Passo/Sella del Gallo rossini
Bocchetta di San Liberale rossini
Passo di Treviso Bresciano rossini
Sella Cavacca rossini
Passo del Cavallino della Fobbia IT-BS-1080
Passo di San Rocco/Capovalle offical website & additif 2008 IT-BS-0946
Sella di Navazzo rossini

Day 2 – Thursday June 26th, 9 cols (6 CC cols)
Gargnano - Carbonare
(148,2 km, 3874m, 20-40°C)
Passo San Giovanni IT-TN-0272
Passo di San Valentino 1314 salite & official website
Bocca del Creer IT-TN-1617
Bocca di Navene IT-VR-1423
Bocca di Tratto Spino/Tredes Pin IT-VR-1717
Passo Pozza della Cola IT-TN-1289
Serrada 1269 pass
Passo del Sommo IT-TN-1343
(Sella di) Carbonare 1087 rossini

Day 3 – Friday June 27th, 7 cols (4 CC cols)
Carbonare - Proveis
(144,5 km, 3706m, 18-37°C)
Valico della Fricca IT-TN-1112
(Sella di) Vigolo Vattaro 725 rossini
Gfriller Sattel/Sella di Cauria IT-BZ-1414 (R1 fr. 1307m)
Altenburg (Vigolo/Castelvecchio) 629 pass
Kalterer Höhe (Ristorante Bella Vista/Mendelstrasse) 670 pass
Passo della Mendola/Mendelpass IT-TN-1363
Forcella di Brez/Brezer Joch IT-TN-1397

Day 4 – Saturday June 28th, 4 cols (2-3 CC cols)
Proveis - La Villa/Stern
(160,2 km, 4075m, 14-41°C)
Passo Castrin/Hofmahdjoch (tunnel) IT-TN-1706 (should be included this way and is recognised both locally and officially (Trentino official webpage), tunnel opened in 1997-98)
Rosswagen (Rittnerhorn) 1702 rossini (via Maddalena/Ebenich - Soprabolzano in 41°C with 30%, had to walk after a while, and even that was very difficult)
Sela de Culac/Kulatsch Sattel/Sella del Culaç IT-BZ-2018
Passo Gardena/Grödner Joch/Jëuf de Frea IT-BZ-2121

Day 5 – Sunday June 29th 2008 Maratona dles Dolomites, 8 cols (1 repeat)
La Villa/Stern
(141,7 km (?), 4107m (?), good temperatures - from memory)
Passo di Campolongo/Ciaulonch/Campolongo Sattel IT-BL-1875
Passo Pordoi/(Jouf de) Pordou/Pordoijoch IT-BL-2239
Passo (del) Sella/Jof de Sèla/Sellajoch IT-BZ-2244
Sela de Culac/Kulatsch Sattel/Sella del Culaç IT-BZ-2018
Passo Gardena/Grödner Joch/Jëuf de Frea IT-BZ-2121
Passo di Campolongo/Ciaulonch/Campolongo Sattel IT-BL-1875
Passo (di) Giau IT-BL-2236
Passo (di) Falzàrego/Fouzargo IT-BL-2105
Passo di Valparòla/Ju de Valparola IT-BL-2196

Day 6 – Monday June 30th, 2 cols
La Villa/Stern
(154,6 km, 2742m, 18-29°C)
Klammljoch/Passo di Gola AT-OT-2288 (R1)
Staller Sattel/Passo Stalle IT-BZ-2052

Day 7 – Tuesday July 1st, 8 cols (7 CC cols)
La Villa/Stern
(160,3 km, 4154m, 14-32°C)
Passo Gardena/Grödner Joch/Jëuf de Frea IT-BZ-2121
Sela de Culac/Kulatsch Sattel/Sella del Culaç IT-BZ-2018
Panider Sattel/Passo di Pinei IT-BZ-1442
Jëuf Ciaforn/Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi 1862m pass
Passo Nigra/Nigerpass IT-BZ-1688
Karerpass/Pas de Costalongia/Passo (di) Costalunga IT-BZ-1768
Passo Pordoi/(Jouf de) Pordou/Pordoijoch IT-BL-2239
Passo di Campolongo/Ciaulonch/Campolongo Sattel IT-BL-1875

Day 8 – Wednesday July 2nd, 8 cols
La Villa/Stern - Ampezzo
(160,1 km, 2805m, 12-29°C)
Passo di Valparòla/Ju de Valparola IT-BL-2196
Passo (di) Falzàrego/Fouzargo IT-BL-2105
Passo di Cimabanche IT-BZ-1529
Passo di Monte Croce di Comélico/Kreuzbergpass IT-BZ-1636
Passo del Zovo/Passo di Sant'Antonio IT-BL-1476
Forcella Zambei IT-BL-1435 (R1 ca. 200m)
Passo della Mauria IT-BL-1302
Sella Corso 868m IT-

Day 9 – Thursday July 3rd, 7 cols
Ampezzo - Döbriach
(191,3 km, 4262m, 17-30°C)
Passo del Pura 1425m IT-
Sella di Rioda 1800m IT- (ca. 2m from the road at the highest point on the way to/from Sáuris di Sopra)
Sella di Razzo IT-BL-1757 (sign on Sella Ciampigotto/Valico di Cima Ciampigòtto pass road, but unclear if it should be there rather than on the Sauris di Sopra road....)
Forcella Lavardêt IT-BL-1541 (200 m in on the gravel road that is asphalted to the pass from the Ciampigotto road)
Sella Valcalda 959 IT-
Plöckenpass/Passo di Monte Croce Carnico AT-KÄ-1357b
Windische Höhe AT-KÄ-1110
Glanz/Breitweis 831m (little mountain(side) (no pass) fr. Feistriz a.d. Drau to Döbriach)

Day 10 – Friday July 4th, 3 cols
Döbriach - Möllbrücke/Lurnfeld
(208,5 km, 3821m, 10-31°C)
Turracher Höhe AT-KÄ-1792
Sölkpass AT-ST-1788b
Katschberghöhe AT-KÄ-1641

Day 11 – Saturday July 5th, 4 cols
Möllbrücke/Lurnfeld - Fusch
(180,9 km (maybe more), 5651m, 8-32°C)
Grosse Oschenikensee 2394m (cul-de-sac)
Mölltaler Gletscherstrasse/Weisssee 2378m (cul-de-sac)
Kasereck AT-KÄ-1905c
Hochtor AT-SA-2504
Mittertörl AT-SA-2375b
Fuscher Törl AT-SA-2406 (the proper height is given at the pass sign - 2428m)

Day 12 – Sunday July 6th, 2 cols
Fusch - Hippach (above)
(177,2 km, 3454m, 10-35°C)
Paß Thurn AT-SA-1274
Kerschbaumer Sattel AT-TI-1111
Zillertaler höhenstrasse (from Kaltenbach) 2020m (no pass)

Day 13 – Monday July 7th, (rain rain, rain) 1 col
Hippach - Elbigenalp
(164,1 km, 2001m, 7-23°C)
Hahntennjoch AT-TI-1894

Day 14 – Tuesday July 8th, 4 cols
Elbigenalp - Prutz (best stay)
(199,3 km, 3949m, 5-31°C)
Formarinjoch AT-VO-1871
Raues Joch/Freiburger Hütte AT-VO-1918 (R1, with some traces of asphalt)
Flexenpass AT-VO-1773
Arlbergpass AT-TI-1793
Kaunertaler Gletscherstrasse 2751m (cul-de-sac)

Day 15 – Wednesday July 9th, 9 cols (8 CC cols)
Prutz - Aprica
(216,9 km, 4064m, 10-32°C) (max inclination 32% walking)
Passo del Gallo (tunnel) CH-GR-1693
Fórcola di Livigno CH-GR-2315c
Passo del Mortirolo IT-BS-1896 (fr. Tovo di Sant’Àgata, unusual approach, but took an even more unusual wrong way from there with 32% concrete road and grassy track)
Pas de la/Passo della Foppa IT-BS-1855
Col Carette di Val Bighera IT-BS-2093
Passo di Guspessa IT-BS-1824
Passo del Picco IT-BS-1870
Conca/Valico di Trivigno (Monte Padrio) 1867m (road height) pass (I count for CC the ridiculously falsely included Baita Foppa IT-BS-1701a instead)
Passo S. Cristina IT-BS-1400?? recognised by GF Marco Pantani and Giro d'Italia (I think) etc.
Passo di Aprica IT-SO-1173

Day 16 – Thursday July 10th, 2 cols (1 CC col)
Aprica - Zillis
(160,4 km, 3069m, 14-41°C)
Splügenpass CH-GR-2115b
Lai da Vons 2075m pass (R1 some hundred metres on the west side and about a kilometre on the east side)

Day 17 – Friday July 11th, 4 cols (3 CC cols)
Zillis - Walenstadt
(148,8 km, 3867m, 16-45°C)
Kunkelspass CH-GR-1357 (the pass is asphalted, but short stretches of gravel on both sides)
St. Luzisteig Pass/Engpass CH-GR-0713
Bargällasattel LI-1742 (steep R1 from Gaflei almost not possible with a road bike)
Chamm (Gonzen/Palfries) 1712m pass

Day 18 – Saturday July 12th, (rain, rain, rain) 2 cols
Walenstadt - Stans
(112 km, 2495m, 12-25°C)
Schwammhöchi CH-GL-1053 (I call it 'Schwimmhöchi' as I was drowning in rain there)
Pragelpass CH-SZ-1515

Day 19 – Sunday July 13th, (rain, rain, rain) 3 cols
Stans - Innertkirchen
(142,4 km, 3788m, 5-21°C)
Brünigpass CH-BE-1008
Männlichen/Moosenegg CH-BE-2229
Grosse Scheidegg CH-BE-1962

Day 20 – Monday July 14th, (rain, snow, sun) 3 cols
Innertkirchen - Zwischbergen
(138,4 km, 4154m, 3-25°C)
Grimselpass CH-BE-2165b
Simplonpass/Passo del Sempione CH-VS-2005
Furggu CH-VS-1872

Day 21 – Tuesday July 15th, 4 cols
Zwischbergen - Chamonix
(232,5 km, 4159m, 12-32°C)
Simplonpass/Passo del Sempione CH-VS-2005
(Col de) la Forclaz CH-VS-1750 (bus sign says 'Col de la Forclaz')
Col de la Forclaz CH-VS-1528
Col des Montets FR-74-1461

Day 22 – Wednesday July 16th, rest day ... 2 cols
Chamonix
(38,1 km, 1226m, 24-34°C)
Col des Posettes FR-74-1997a (hmm.... on a road bike, took gondola down the other side)
Col des Montets FR-74-1461

Day 23 – Thursday July 17th, (rainy and late start) 7 cols
Chamonix - Faverges
(154,5 km, 3297m, 11-20°C
Col de la Colombière/d'Auferrand FR-74-1613
Col des Annes FR-74-1722a
Col de St Jean de Sixt FR-74-0956
Col des Aravis FR-73-1486
Col du Merdassier FR-74-1500c
Col de la Croix Fry/de Manigod FR-74-1467
Col du Marais/de Serraval FR-74-0833

Day 24 – Friday July 18th, (hot) 8 cols
Faverges - Choranche (best food)
(186,2 km, 3787m, 15-38°C)
Col de Tamié FR-73-0907
Collet de Tamié FR-73-0955
Col de Marcieu FR-38-1061
Col du Coq FR-38-1434
Col de Porte FR-38-1326b
Col de Palaquit FR-38-1154b
Col de Vence FR-38-0782
Col de Clémencière FR-38-0622
Lans-en-Vercors/Villard de Lans 1004m saddle/pass???

Day 25 – Saturday July 19th, (hot) 13 cols
Choranche - Malaucène
(200 km, 3549m, 16-38°C)
Col Gaudissart FR-26-0889a
Col de la Machine FR-26-1011
Col de la Chau FR-26-1337a
Col de St Alexis FR-26-1222b
Col de Rousset (tunnel) FR-26-1254
Col des Guillens FR-26-0802a
Col du Portail FR-26-0805
Col de la Vache FR-26-0887
Col des Roustans FR-26-1030a
Col de Soubeyrand FR-26-0990b
Col d'Ey FR-26-0718b
Pas du Voltigeur FR-84-0328
Pas du Loup FR-84-0285

Day 26 – Sunday July 20th, 3 cols
Malaucène - Espinasses
(194,8 km, 3922m, 16-29°C)
Mont Ventoux 1912m (mountain)
Col des Tempêtes FR-84-1829
Sommet de Lure 1826m (mountain) (there seems to be a pass here before at around 1700m, but maybe no path down or no name)
Pas de la Graille/Col de Frère Jean FR-04-1597
Col de Sarraut FR-04-0980

Day 27 – Monday July 21st, 7 cols
Espinasses - Cuneo (not so clever as TdF was there, but I did not know)
(217,3 km, 4263m, 13-27°C)
Col Lebraut FR-05-1110
Col de l'Ange Gardien FR-05-1347
Col Agnel/Colle dell' Agnello FR-05-2744
Passo Pian Pietro IT-CN-1352
Colle di Palmascura IT-CN-1614 (Colle di Valmala is at least 300m from the road on a steep bad gravel road)
Colle della Ciabra IT-CN-1723 (the sign is a bit away from where the asphalt ends)
Colletto di Rossana IT-CN-0617

Day 28 – Tuesday July 22nd, 11 cols
Cuneo - train (strikes etc....) + car to Biella - Ghiffa
(135,9 km (+ some cycling in Torino), 2563m, 16-40°C)
Colle della Colma (galleria Rosazza) IT-BI-1488 This road is fully asphalted since one year back - very nice!
Sella del Cucco/Capanna della Sella IT-BI-1262
Bocchetto di Séssera IT-BI-1382
Colle Moncerchio IT-BI-1530 This is unclear -- there is no asphalt road going higher than ca. 1490m on this mountain ......... seems like a fake Italian col!!
Bocchetto di Livera/Luvera IT-BI-1284
Bocchetta di Margosio IT-BI-1332
Bocchetta di Rubello IT-BI-1333 R1
Bocchetta di Stavello IT-BI-1206
Bocchetta di Caulera IT-BI-1070
Colle Craviolo IT-BI-0940
Passo della Colma IT-VB-0942

Day 29 – Wednesday July 23rd, 7 cols (6 CC cols)
Ghiffa - Bergamo
(264 km, 4724m, 14-36°C)
Alpe di Cadinello (Alpe del Gesero) 1828m pass (Tunnel pass between Monte Laura and Alpe di Gesero (built in 1941) (Ticino to Graubünden) from Arbedo to Roveredo -- some gravel on the Arbedo side (200-300m together) (& gravel in the tunnel)) - very nice!
Passo Monte Ceneri CH-TI-0554
Passo di Cainallo IT-LC-1292
Bocchetta di Cino IT-LC-1390 Asphalt ends here
Vò di Moncòdeno/Bocchetta del Cimone IT-LC-1436b (This is R1 gravel road ca. 400m + S2 20m)
Passo di Agueglio IT-LC-1144
Colle di Balisio IT-LC-0723

/Jerry

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PostSubject: Re: Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps   Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:19 pm

Aren't you (just a little bit) tired ?
What a difference of level in one month.
I admire, I admire : we all here know what it means...

Congratulations and hat-trick cheers cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps   Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:15 am

daniel gobert wrote:
Aren't you (just a little bit) tired ?
What a difference of level in one month.
I admire, I admire : we all here know what it means...

Congratulations and hat-trick cheers cheers

Oh no -- it was a piece of cake! Very Happy
I guess I just wanted to see where my limits are (again) and now I think I know .... Neutral .

The Oschenikensee/Mölltaler/Grossglockner day was indeed *hard*.... the Mölltaler gletscherstrasse was really hardest for me -- all these up and downs on a very bad road that never seemed to end (it was nearly impossible to go faster downhill than 20 km/h on either of these two first roads -- the latter, because I do not like to go fast over rough drainage gullies as they are no good for the wheels (I had to be able to continue...).

The day before was surprisingly hard too -- one cannot underestimate the Katschberghöhe -- it is a fine wide road, but it is truly steep -- in fact it's steeper than the Oschenikensee (only shorter ....). Turracher Höhe only has one really steep section, but that was also hard going and the final kilometres of the Sölkpass are testing too!

The Zillertaler höhenstrasse was hard going -- mostly because of the descent and final climb (and also in some rain...). Cycling down Männlichen in rain and then directly up the Grosse Scheidegg in rain and down in rain to Innertkirchen was very hard too.

Other points of interest: 1st day: Colle San Zeno is really surfaced but somewhat hard. And Passabocche is really hard!! (esp. in the warm weather -- had to drink water from a place where it stood hand-written 'Non Potable' - 'Non' was crossed over and replaced by the word 'Uno', but I only needed to drink once jocolor . The climb up Passo del Cavallino della Fobbia from Vestone is remarkably hard as well!

2nd day: Bocca di Tratto Spino/Tredes Pin is at first asphalt from Bocca di Navene, but VERY steep and then a rather bad, but not so steep gravel road that goes up higher than the pass (which one could walk down to below -- I walked part way down there (thought it was enough to count it (there's also a less good gravel road going directly to the pass)) (There have been plans to asphalt all of this road I have read.) Should have done Monte Finonchio this day too, but it was too hot and I decided it was not worth trying it considering I was a bit short on time (I also skipped some other plans I had originally in my otherworldy plans). Serrada was hard enough for the evening (rather moderate climb really).

3rd day: Gfriller Sattel was ridiculously hard (esp. with the heat, but fortunately it was very wooded where the road is steepest - which is most of the way) and I could not find a good path/track down the other side so went back the same way down. From Söll/Sella (not a pass) to Altenburg there is a nice concrete road with 25% -- just about what I could manage to do and did. Forcella di Brez is quite steep for the second half!

4th day: Hofmahdjoch has indeed very fine views of the Ultental on the decent there (I went up a small asphalt side road to get even better photos). Rosswagen (Rittnerhorn) via Maddalena/Ebenich to Maria Himmelfart & Oberbozen is just beyond what could be done on a bicycle - I saw someone in a Youtube video cycling up Malga Palazzo, but somehow that seemed somewhat easy compared with this road .... at least supposing someone would try the last stretch to Ebenich -- my heartrate was at maximum even when walking up there! (It was also 41°C and no wind.) Then I cycled up from Ebenich to Oberbozen and was so tired I could hardly stand up, but had a very nice icecream and big Coke there! Then it was still a tough climb left to Rosswagen in the heat.
Not to mention going over the Passo Gardena in the evening. So:

5th day: starting early in the morning with a race around the Dolomites -- ok forgive me for not feeling totally perfectly prepared for this -- I had hoped to go under 6 hours this time and that was one of my main goals for the year, but I could not really do it ... the weather was perfect and I was starting in the 2nd group. I decided to start as if I was prepared for it and do my best and just see when I would hit the wall -- somehow I managed to do most everything right and at least got in 5 minutes quicker than two years ago and finished on 6.09.57 (place 622 overall of 11000 starting), so it was okay.

6th day: had one friend and another person I know (also on BIG now) there at the Maratona -- one of them decided to walk a little and the other was taking a shorter ride. I thus decided to do a gravel passroad that none of them would follow me over on anyway -- Klammljoch -- it is hard from the Italian side, but really perfectly doable with a race bike in good weather. I went wrong at the only possible way down at the Austrian side, but eventually got back on the right track with myriads of gates to open and close on the way down to Oberhaus hütte or what it is called -- had a very good strudel with icecream there! Stallersattel is always dangerous down the Italian side against red lights (45 min every hour) -- there are perhaps 40 places where you can see no longer than 5 metres in front of you and the road is certainly not wide enough for two cars and there are no safeguarding rails on the steep roadside! Then it was very high speed where I went in a slowly bending curve at around 80 km/h - guess my record speed this year was down this road.

7th day: Fooled my friends into following me on a really hard day's ride, but at Canazei they decided that it was too much for them (they wondered if I did not know about the 28% sign on the shortcut road to the Passo Nigra road I had proposed ... but I did not and it was only a mere 23% there actually - I also did not know of the steep section later on and the road work there ...) and that they should take the bus back from there to La Villa/Stern - I thought there was still time to get back on the bicycle before dark and went ahead up the Pordoipass. It turned out the bus schedule was from last year. I was looking after the bus and trying to get up as far as possible before it caught up with me, but the damned bus never came! Evil or Very Mad The funny guys then took a taxi instead to the top of Pordoi and hurried down and up Campolongo -- where they arrived just as I caught up with them (and passing them by on the way down). -- That's what makes one endure! sunny

8th day: Left Alta Badia and went east (had rain which slowed me down this day and thus I could not get over Passo del Pura as planned.

9th day: Skipped a lot from original plans here (esp. wanted to get up to Passo di Col Caneva 1844m (200m R1) (from Sappada) -- to see just how long the gravel part was up this pass and visit a nearby pass too). My goal for the whole trip was to make sure I had passed every asphalted pass above 1700m with at least one side asphalted in the whole of the Alps, but probably this is still not asphalted to the top. Passo del Pura was hard and unusual. Sella di Rioda likewise (but not as hard as I thought or as a local I talked to thought) -- it seems like people and the map-maker does not think of this pass as located at the top of the asphalt road from Sauris, but in practice this is so (but the other side is going off the road). Forcella Lavardêt is not strictly located on the Ciampigotti road down the Pesarina valley (but close). Windische Höhe is hard even if short (and there is another short hard stretch up if one continues to Feistriz).

10th day: See above! the three hard passes most easternly on my trip - needed in order to get Turracher Höhe and Sölkpass on my list of climbed passes!

11th day: The ultimate test day: Oschenikensee, Mölltaler & Grossglockner -- do it and tell me it was easy! Suspect

12th day: The day started really hot -- indeed so hot I decided to skip Kitzbueler Horn (I was a bit sorry for that, but had to skip a lot since I had to scrap one day of my plan as I had copied the same date for two days which I noticed too late before I took off ... and also needed to skip things anyway as my plans was too ambitious, like always). Then it got rainy after the nice Kerschbaumer Sattel (which is really hard from Zillertal).

(cont.)

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PostSubject: Re: Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps   Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:16 am

13th: Now the rainy period started ... luckily it was mostly flat this day (Karawendelhaus gravel road was quickly and happily thrown out of my plan here ...). Hahntennjoch was a cold experience (rain stopped at 18:00 when I started up there (still wet) after waiting in Imst for long), but nice and felt very remote.

14th: Formarinjoch/Raues Joch is a very nice road up from Lech and not hard. Kaunertaler Gletscherstrasse -- guess it only took a little more than 2 hours up -- don't know why I got such speed -- but the last 6-7 curves are the real hard stuff and going down was cold!! The "zimmer" in Prutz was ridiculously good for the price!

15th day: Again ridiculously high speed all the way to the Livigno tunnel (almost 25-30 km/h on average uphill ...), then slower ... . Missed the bus shuttle and hoped to be lucky in passing the tunnel without trouble anyway. Went through and had no cars with a steady speed uphill at exactly 22,5 km/h and thought I made it, but they had seen me on cameras and I had to pay some kind of fee "verboten ist verboten!" -- 20 euro is the price (the bike shuttle only operates between 10-15 -- so God knows what had happened if I had arrived outside this frame ... ). It's a long story, but the Mortirolo climb I did could not be recommended even to MTBers (I went up an alternative road to the Mazzo road from Sant Agata, but should have turned onto a gravel road that connects to the Mazzo road, but somehow I never fond it and just continued straight up until I hit the Trivigno road approx. 3-4 km from the Foppa pass. 32% on concrete ... walking and made most damage to my cleats here). This road is otherwise a little less steep than the Mazzo road, and it is lovely for the first 6 km, but has sections that are probably a bit steepper than any sections on the Mazzo road. After turning into a bad gravel road that I tried to bicycle mostly successfully I hit a newly asphalted perfect section again and then there was road work -- so they may be asphalting more of this road .... . The Trivigno road had been damaged and was just about passable at some points (probably fixed now or soon). Very late at Aprica just as it got dark.

16th day: Took an unusual way down from Aprica via the dam (nice and I thus missed a few km of the hellish main road down the Valltelina). Realy hot day and I confess I made a stop on the early part up the Splügenpass. Was really nice to do the Splügenpass in good weather from the right side (south) though! Lai da Vons is a hard climb on both side (I did the little easier one, which made more sense as I was coming from that side) -- very recommended and fully cyclable between Sufers and Andeer (near Splügen).

17th day: Kunkelspass is just as hard as one would think as seeing it on the way down from Thusis! The gravel parts do not help in making it easier. Just before the gravel ended on the north side (which only had one km of gravel -- the other side maybe 2,5 km), I had my first flat and then the tube I had with me also did not work, so had had to use my reserve extra patches and glue (good I kept in mind to bring that) -- took a whole bloody hour before it was fixed. Hot now. Then over to Lichtenstein and up to Gaflei which was hard as hell in the heat and the road only gets steeper and steeper the nearer you get and there you can turn up a gravel road which goes eversteeply up to Bargällasattel, from where you see ca. 95% of Lichtenstein. This is one of the hardest climbs I have ever done -- the lady at the mountain restaurant in Gaflei thought the next pass I was going up -- Palfries/Gonzen should be much harder, but that was clearly not the case for me (maybe partly because of the heat in the day). The Chamm/Palfries/Gonzen climb was not at all as hard as I had thought, but they had made sure I would not be sad over it by throwing out a lot of small gravel all over the road (with oil for "mending" the road) half of the stretch up -- thus they made it somewhat hard nonetheless and slow going down ... ! Suspect
I then cycled in extreme hard headwind to Walenstadt and found a room at the Hotel Krone (the other was full) just as thunder & lightening came in full blast.

18th day: First 45 minutes without rain, but then just increasing rain until I gave up totally exhausted and totally wet in Stans. I had planned so many hard passes this day and now only basically did the Pragelspass and the not so easy Schwammhöchi (slightly dangerous with cobblestones and heavy rain) on the way. Stans is a nice town, but the hotel was expensive.

19th day: Even worse -- it seemed at first the weather would get better. Had another flat on the way up Brunigpass. Even washed my bicycle in Interlaken and took off up Grindelwald, but then the rain started and up at the supposedly lovely Männlichen I could hardly see the hand in front of me and I was was shivering and tried to get down with the expensive gondola, but was not allowed. Down in Grindelwald I was shaking like I would never get healthy again and decided to just ignore it all and just went straight up Grosse Scheidegg thinking that would warm me up quicker than getting into a hotel (and that was probably correct), but the way down Grosse Scheidegg was not exactly pleasant. I stopped at the hotel above the Rychenbachfall, but thought it was too expensive and continued down to Innertkirchen.

20th day: Started in rain -- waited until 11 when it was not raining quite as heavily any longer. went slowly up Grimselpass, but it never really stopped raining and up at the pass it was snowing and with some snow on the roadside. Then shivering down OberWallis and then sun. Then up Simplonpass and down to Gondo and up Furgge (above Zwischbergen) with a slowgoing flat since above Brig (So I had to stop and infalte the tire every now and then -- did not have any water with me and the bicycle was so dirty I did not want to change tube before I got to a place where I could clean my hands. Stopped at a "massenlager" (beds on the floor next to each other in a big room) in Zwischbergen -- okay place!

21st day: Simplonpass from the harder side. Then the hopeless Wallis valley -- this valley cannot be passed easily and should not be underestimated in the hardships it WILL bring. Went up from Sion (where it was killingly hot) to Evolene and to La Forclaz (Ferpecle) (see signs for Arolla). It is very nice up here, but also a lot of traffic even here. Then down Wallis and in STRONG headwind to Martigny -- stood up sometimes on the flat road and no matter how much I pushed I could not get up to 20 km/h -- maybe the TdF riders could have maxed out (here) at around 23 km/h (I am serious!) on this flat stretch -- ridiculous (like I was in some wind tunnel test)!! I was in a hurry to get to Chamonix (to where my sister currently lives) and I just continued up Col de la Forclaz and made it in 1 hour 5 minutes, which I would say is pretty good under the circumstances ... . On the Col des Montets I truly hit the wall for once though and almost had to walk up this easy pass.

(cont.)

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PostSubject: Re: Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps   Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:16 am

22nd day: It was easy to convince me to stay an extra day in Chamonix ... and I just joined a guy who was friend of my sister who wanted to get out bicycling with me. He had a MTB and I he had to be back to work later in the day, so I thought "why not try the Col de Balme" -- the nice english guy (many english people in Chamonix) was perhaps not in so good shape and decided to take the gondola up, while I thought I could probably bicycle most of the way up -- this was not true -- both since they was working on the track and because it was too bad/steep for me almost all of the way up to the gondola station above. But from there we both cycled to the Posettes pass (which was more doable than the nearby Balme pass).

23rd day: Left rather late sometime after 12, and well down in Sallanches the rain started again. It was off and on for the rest of the day which was kind of boring as I did not get any good photos from Grand Colombiere and Col des Annes (a pretty damned hard pass on a shitty french road). Stopped at an expensive Logis de France in Faverges (make sure to include dinner in the price at such places -- they are often good on food, but are generally overpriced otherwise!)

24th day: A really hot day. Col de Marcieu is a very hard climb -- must be one of the harder around there. Esp. if taking the shortest way up. The road down from Col du Coq was not exactly "good" ... . Very high speed up to Lans-en-Vercors from Grenoble as I wanted to get down the famous and spectacular Gorges de Bourne before the dark. I stopped at the end at a small hotel/restaurant (only place) in Choranche with really great food & service -- think they had been selected in the Michelin guide (saw some decals) but the prices was good too (by french standards).

25th day: Time for pass-collecting -- easy in these parts of France! Few passes comes easily though and it was a very hot day! The cyclists coming up from Die to Col de Rousset had a hard time indeed! Col de Soubeyrand is a bit hard. 200 km and 13 passes.

26th day: Mount Ventoux from Malaucène was totally pleasant and easy for me. Perfect weather -- no flies, no wind, no heat -- unbelievable luck I guess! It only took 1,5 hour I think ... . Then rain hit me on the way down to Sault, but it was warm down in Sault. The a long and winding road toward the "sister" mountain of Mount Ventoux -- the Lure mountain (1826m). Here were flies in abundance (had most flies in Unterengadin & Livigno (as usual) otherwise) and the road is a long and winding slowly up the wooded mountain. There are nice views from the top however! Where it is also steeper. The north side is more steep and more narrow (but also quite long). The last part up the mountain top has a little gravel but is possible (and has good asphalt at the end). It's a wobbly (typical french) road most of the time otherwise. Had to skip a visit to the Alpe d'Huez area where I had some ideas of climbs to do and now had to quickly get over to Italy, so went on memory (as I had cutted of the relevant map section) toward the Serre Poncon dam via the Col de Sarraut pass. (Sisteron on the way is very nice -- had rain there.)

27th day: Another really hard day. Quickly up the Lebraut pass and then (after a long break at a supermarket outside Embrun) continued up Col d'Agnel which was harder on this side then I had remembered. It is mainly hard in sections and ramps with many places for rest, but it get more hard as it get closer to the top. Steep down to Italy and another visit to the hopeless grocery store in Sampeyre (never find anything relevant to buy there apart from Coke). (In France all grocery stores and supermarkets are so filled with people that one could hardly enter them ... .) THen rather late up the road to the Santuary di Valmala (from after Melle) where you eventually get up on the Strada dei Cannoni road which is asphalted (albeit badly higher up) to Colle della Ciabra 1723m, which was the goal for the day. Too late to get good photos here. (The last part of the asphalt road is good. The continuing gravel road is too harsh for a road bike.) I went down to Lemma via a gravel road which is a bit too rough to be recommended (actually a bit dangerous to use with a road bike). The road down from Lemma was super (without a few sections lower down). Reached Cuneo after it got dark and then discovered all hotels were fully booked as the TdF started from Cuneo the next morning. I got a tip about a very bad Osteria at the second hotel and it was good enough for me this day (and was cheap) -- so had some good food and good icecream at a place where I met the girl again who served me the food! ;-) (Never buy icecream at restuarants in Italy when they have so good places for that otherwise.)

28th day: Did not want to cycle up north in Piemonte, so took the train, but there were problems -- there was a strike this day and first I was not allowed to buy a ticket -- talked a little with someone else there and then bought a ticket for Tirano and voila -- the train did go (even if it was "ritardo" -- as is practise in Italy .... so I would have missed the connection north anyway). Got a new ticket in Tirano for Biella. Coffee in Tirano. In Santhia had to change train, but the connection to Biella was affected by the strike, but was lucky and got a lift with some girls going to Biella in their car! Started out through the cobblestoned streets of Biella and climbed via Santuario di Oropa (nice place) up to Colle della Colma and the tunnel of Rosazza which was only asphalted first last year (I could not find information on this prior to getting there), but the road is lovely (apart from the water drainage stony passages) and highly recommended! It is steeper (but shorter) from Rosazza (on a very narrow road there with many restrictions). Then the nice Bocchetto di Séssera Panorama road with many passes along. Hopeless Borgsesia was a nightmare to get through and the only place seling something to eat was a monstrously big iperCoop supermarket (ok. I was just very irritated there - and I was not allowed *not* to take my receipt with me scratch ). Omegna and nearby was a mess too and I felt I just had to get past Verbania on Lago Maggiore to get to a decent place to start the next day (and to be able to get back to Bergamo at all).

29th day (last day): Had decided to do the famously (?) hard Alpe del Gesero climb on the way back. Going through Locarno and nearby places almost made go crazy though -- after zig-zagging between babies and caddies on walking paths and around gardens in suburbs and out on fields for almost an hour I in the end was directed by signs leading me out on the motorway anyway. I decided to take that until the next turn-off -- someone stopped to advice me and asked if I knew english -- "yes", I explained and "I think every cyclist should cycle on this road!!!" They took off and I found another cycle lane through fields somehow leading me toward Bellinzona. These fucking bicycle-lane bureaucrats/politicians should be given works with rebuilding tunnels or something (supposing they could do some work at all) ... These Swiss bicycle signs are just there for fun -- in case you wonder (as I sometimes do) !!! Continuing through the tunnel at the top of Alpe del Gesero is really a pass and I will add it to the Cycloclimbing.com list of paved passes in the Alps soon. There are indeed some steep sections on the Arbedo side! There were also some road works (some small landslide problems) -- had to stop twice because of this, but no problem. The first flat gravel section was a bit bad, but it's not long. The tunnel is slightly scary and unlit. The views from each side of the tunnel are really outstanding however! Again trouble to find the correct road (for cyclists) over Passo Monte Ceneri, but then it got easier. The road from Lugano to Menaggio is VERY trafficated (esp. around 17-18 when the Italian guest workers go back home (which was when I was there). I went quickly to Menaggio and was quickly over with the ferry to Varenna and then just could not resist heading up Passo di Cainallo (Esino-Lario road) even though it was late. On the way down I got a slow-going flat tire again and now it was soon 21 in the evening and I had thought to get back to Bergamo via Passo San Pietro, but as it got dark I had to go down to Lecco, but found that no train left from there to Bergamo this late and had to fix the flat and cycle back to Bergamo the normal road in the dark. Arrived at the B&B in the Citta Alta at 13 minutes past midnight (but had called the nice brothers running the place before, and no problem). Happy ending!

(Wrote so long as I thought I could re-use this for the webpages eventually coming up ... .) /Jerry

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PostSubject: Re: Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps   Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:17 am

The final version is now online:

http://cycloclimbing.com/tour2008

(There may be errors and things I change in the text (or should have done ...), but I may leave it as it is now also.)

Happy continuing Christmas & Good New Year -- Joyeux Fêtes,
Jerry

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PostSubject: Re: Results of my 2008 tour of the Alps   Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:02 am

Fantastic job !
I read 4 pages just now that I haven't read before : so many climbs, so many passes, so many kilometers, so many new experiences !
Enthusiastic !

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