we climbed the sun started to bathe us and the surrounding mountains
in its warm rays and the initial reluctance to ride was soon forgotten.
made the first Col in good time, sucked on a bit of gel and got
on with the ribbon of singletrack that would take us down into
With huge grins on our faces, we exited the rooty switchback extravaganza
that had transported us to the land of the cuckoo clock. We massaged
brake pumped hands whilst blinking in the bright morning light
and stripped off a couple of layers as the sun very much got his
4x4 climb took us to the Col de Forclaz where an over night stop
would ordinarily of been the order of the day. However, as they
say, "No rest for the wicked", we continued down the
other side towards Martigny on a combination of high speed road,
and grassy, still slick with the morning dew, singletrack.
By now we were getting into our stride and we eased ourselves
into the 12km road climb to Champex Lac where we planned to have
a well earned rest. The rythmic action of accelerating on the
road switchbacks, rising from the saddle to keep the momentum
up and then settling back down, soon bought us to our destination.
We found ourselves a quiet spot and enviously observed as people
enjoyed a spot of lunch and a quick spin of their own on the pedallows.
Bones and myself stretched aching muscles and shovelled in as
many calories as we could to avoid the dredded bonk. So far so
good, we were on schedule and all things considered we were both
feeling pretty good. As much as we wanted to lie down next to
the lake and soak up the rays, we still had a long old way to
go. I also remembered that the next bit of singletrack was a bit
of a peach so off we went.
After being bounced around both up and downhill over roots and
across bridges, more amazing singletrack led us to the water stop
in Praz De Fort. By now I was beginning to suffer in the backdoor
dept and a quiet spot was found to "have a word with myself".
I tell you, long live the o so mighty chamy butter and the even
mightier Sandra M for putting me onto this life saving substance!
saited on fig rolls, isotonic drink, energy gels and plenty of
water we now started the slog up to the gite in Ferret. The trail
follows La Drance de Ferret climbing on a combination of 4x4 and
The singletrack follows the contours of the mountainside high
above the river with a part of the trail having a chain handrail,
guarding you from exposure. The trail offers plenty of technical
challenges, but by now me and the man Bones were choosing to walk
many of these in order to conserve a little energy.