Monday, July 21, 2014

Les Deux Alpes

On July 9th I took a short trip up to Les Deux Alpes.

View Les Deux Alpes in a larger map

When I planned this trip, I scheduled a few days in La Grave, but I didn't have anything specific planned for Wednesday, July 9th. I thought I might need or want a rest day, but as it turns out I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to take a short ride up to Les Deux Alpes, visiting a climb that has been used in the Tour de France, although pretty rarely.

The day started dry but cool, which made the descent toward the lake relatively comfortable. I was wearing the heavy jacket I bought yesterday, which helped quite a bit. Just after crossing the dam and turning onto D213, the road begins a gentle climb up to the ski resort. After a couple of hairpins dutifully numbered, you reach the pretty little village of Mont-de-Lans, where I stripped off my outer layers.

Les Deux Alpes is a year-round ski resort, and the road is wide, well-paved and has a consistent and moderate grade. It runs through a very pretty wooded mountainside, but after Mont-de-Lans there are few views of the surrounding valleys.

The neighboring village
As I reached the top, it began to rain heavily. I hadn't actually known before I got there that it was a ski resort, so I was surprised to see that it was huge, a long line of hotels, restaurants, and ski shops. I put on the heavy jacket I bought the day before, but the rain was still cold and I hadn't even started the descent yet. After a while I walked into one of the ski shops, bought ski gloves and yet another jacket, put all of my warm-weather gear on together, and started the descent.

The view from the hotel, with lots of post-processing
Despite the rain, the wide road was a pleasant descent, and by the time I got back down to Mont-de-Lans it was warm enough to strip off a layer or two. I continued down to the dam, then back up the now-familiar climb to La Grave.

Elevation Profile
This day's ride was just 31 miles, with 3566 feet of climbing. My analysis program broke the climb into two parts, the first part 2 miles long and the second 3 miles, both averaging about 7.5%. The most difficult kilometer was in the second part, at just 8.4%.

No comments:

Post a Comment