Motoroutes

GSB to Grenoble greg Hot

Written by greg     May 25, 2015    
 
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Directions
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Rue Principale 27, 1921 Martigny-Combe, Switzerland, Valais

Le Bourget, Écrins National Park, 05220 Le Monêtier-les-Bains, France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Trip Total

routes transits total
time 5h:35m 0h:00m 5h:35m
distance 303.4km
(188.6mi)
0.0km
(0.0mi)
303.4km
(188.6mi)
  • 71.9km (44.7mi)
  • 1h:05m
  • *mountains*
  • This road may be seasonally closed

Great St. Bernard Pass 4.1/5

location

START FINISH
Adress
  • Rue Principale 27, 1921 Martigny-Combe, Switzerland
  • Switzerland
  • Valais
  • Galleria Signayes, 11100 Aosta, Valle D'aosta, Italy
  • Italy
  • Aosta
Latitude 46.08357 45.76087
Longitude 7.05405 7.31433

description

One of the most famous passes in the world and the 3rd highest in Switzerland at 2469 meters. It is closed for most year, usually opens mid June and closes in October.

Great St. Bernard is the oldest pass through the Western Alps, with evidence of use as far back as the Bronze Age and surviving traces of a Roman road. In 1800, Napoleon's army used the pass to enter Italy, an event depicted in Jacques-Louis David's Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass and Hippolyte Delaroche's Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, both notable oil paintings.

The pass can be ridden either way, but for purposes of this listing we are riding south towards Italy. The first 40km carries a fair amount of traffic up to the Great St. Bernard tunnel. The road is in good condition and has many passing lanes- so if you are on a bike you can still make good time and have a pleasant ride. From Martigny, the road follows a river canyon- most of the corners are wide and flowing. About half way you can make a side trip to Verbier if your skiing inclined. After the Verbier turnoff, you start to come out of the canyon and start the climb for real with some beautiful wide turns and superlative views. About 10k up from the Verbier turnoff the road becomes covered, just before this are about 3 petrol stations, tank up here as fuel is generally 20% less in Switzerland.

The covered road continues into the tunnel and the last exit is for the Great St. Bernard, don’t miss it or you will suffer a dreary and expensive journey though a very long tunnel. You emerge from the covered road into what you hope is bright mountain sunlight and a clear pass. From this point the road becomes far more narrow, the surface challenged, and the corners are quite tight- but what a road....

The summit has several buildings, the most famous is the hospice used by travellers using the pass for centuries. There is a nice little lake up at the top and some great views. If it is really clear and you are up for a bit of scrambling one of the best views in the world is only 30 minutes up- (warning- only for the fit, not vertically challenged and ambitious). Park at the top, where the St Bernard kennels are- walk behind them and up the mountain behind them- there are remnants of an old ski lift that you can follow for the 1st half of the walk- after that, your on your own, but then paths are marked there are cables to help you get to the top. Once there the Vista of the Mt Blanc massive is as good as it gets.

OK, back on the road. For some reason the Italian ramp is in much condition the Swiss side- they have been working on it for the last 10 years (and still are), so I guess it should be. The road above tree line is generally very good in all respects. Once you hit the tree line, they still be working on the road, but on a bike you advance to the front of the line at the lights.

You rejoin the main road form the tunnel just below Saint Leonard, from here the traffic is back, but there is some good passing available all the way down to Aosta.

Fun fact- the original Italian job opening sequence was filmed going up the Italian ramp, yes the one with the Lamborghini Miura.

Transit

0.0 km (0.0) mi
0 minutes
  • 84.2km (52.3mi)
  • 1h:30m
  • *mountains*
  • This road may be seasonally closed

Petit St Bernard pass/ Piccolo St Bernardo SS26.N90 4.3/5

location

START FINISH
Adress
  • 1-37 Place Marcel Gaimard, 73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France
  • France
  • Rhone-Alpes
  • Viale Partigiani, 1-11, 11100 Aosta, Italy
  • Italy
  • Aosta
Latitude 45.73496 45.61868
Longitude 7.3131100000001 6.76941

description

The "Little Saint Bernard Pass" can be divided into 2 halves: The French side: Starts out in a set of hairpins then into the woods with lots of twisties. There are great views over the valley to the Colde l'Iseran. The hairpins are wide-ish and not too steep. The Italian Side: A better surface, steeper and there's a narrow section in the trees where overtaking is difficult. Then the long fast section to Aosta whichwould be quite nice were it not for the gravel pits, towns, electricity pylons..... At the top of the pass is the French border and a large statue of St Bernard which disappointingly was not a large alcoholic dog. The surface all the way is very good. Bourg St. Maurice is fairly uninteresting, but has a useful supermarket and petrol.

Transit

0.0 km (0.0) mi
0 minutes
  • 81.7km (50.8mi)
  • 1h:39m
  • *mountains*
  • This road may be seasonally closed

Col de l'Iseran D902 4.3/5

location

START FINISH
Adress
  • 1-37 Place Marcel Gaimard, 73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France
  • France
  • Rhone-Alpes
  • 1 Rue des Jardins, 73480 Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis, France
  • France
  • Rhone-Alpes
Latitude 45.61868 45.28549
Longitude 6.76941 6.87568

description

One of the "big ones" - the Col de l'Iseran is 2769m. If your bike's not running touch rich at the bottom, it sure as hell will be when you're at the top ;-) . Fill up in Bourg if you're getting low on fuel. From here to Val d'Isére is fairly busy with resort traffic, but really good until just before Val d'Isére where the road is too busy to be fun. Watch out for the unlit tunnels with bends in them just before Val d'Isére.
However, once through the town, the road changes into a high-alpine playground. After casino online a straight-ish bit the road turns sharp right over a small bridge then it's up, up, up. A great surface and a steepish climb to the pass heights - watch out: no crash-barriers! There is snow at the top (and skiing) all year round and often on the roadside until early July.
While the northern ramp is steep and relatively short, the southern side is longer and less steep, generally much greener and faster. I'm really not sure which way I prefer doing this, but I think from the south, the longer gentler climb makes braking easier and you can get up some pretty good speeds. The scenery is much more dramatic as well, with some great views on the glaciers on the mountains to the south. More-or-less a ride through a valley floor until Bonneval-sur-Arc, the road then climbs up the mountain. This bit is less well surfaced and a bit bumpier than the northern side.

Transit

0.1 km (0.1) mi
1 minutes
  • 23.2km (14.4mi)
  • 0h:24m
  • *mountains*

Modane - Lenslebourg - D1006 0.0/5

location

START FINISH
Adress
  • 2-70 Rue Paul-Bert, 73500 Modane, France
  • France
  • Rhone-Alpes
  • 34-40 Rue du Mont-Cenis, 73480 Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis, France
  • France
  • Rhone-Alpes
Latitude 45.28531 45.20165
Longitude 6.87603 6.6707

description

This is a fast, ton-up-sweeper-and-straights road taking a lot of holiday traffic. Basically it's crap up to Modane so just grin and bear it, then gets really quite good after that towards Lanslebourg. Wide, good surface and not half as much traffic, as most of it's gone on the motorway through the tunnel to Bardonècchia in Italy. The fort at Bramans is particularly impressive.

Transit

18.0 km (11.2) mi
22 minutes
  • 42.4km (26.3mi)
  • 0h:56m
  • *mountains*
  • This road may be seasonally closed

Col du Galibier- D902 4.6/5

location

START FINISH
Adress
  • Route des Culées, 73140 Saint-Martin-d'Arc, France
  • France
  • Rhone-Alpes
  • Le Bourget, Écrins National Park, 05220 Le Monêtier-les-Bains, France
  • France
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Latitude 45.21601 45.03756
Longitude 6.46442 6.4045599999999

description

One of the classic high Alpine passes. it is the 3rd highest in the Alps.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys. This road has it all- riding south you start in a canyon, opens up midway and it is pure fun all the way to the top. There is a tunnel that cuts about 200 meters of the top, but if you take it you miss one of the best views in the alps- so ride to the top, stop the bike and take it all in.

It can get crowded during peak times in the summer with everything with wheels and don’t go near it when the tour de France is in town.

High pass ride in the northern alps

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