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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 13: Saint Michel Maurienne to Beaufort

We woke up to clear skies and a beautiful day, so Col De L'Iseran it is! Saint Michel Maurienne was quite a ways from the bottom of the Col de L'Iseran climb, so we opted to drive to Bonneval-sur-Arc, passing Col Madelaine on the way, which I must have ridden over in 2005, but at that time probably considered too small a col to be of note.

The skies stayed clear when we got started and indeed, the weather was perfect. It wasn't cold or windy, and it was nice and warm, and we were climbing the easy side of the pass. What's not to like? We passed mountain goats on the trailside before turning the corner and watching the views open up.
From Tour of the Alps 2011
From Tour of the Alps 2011

From the summit, the views were considerably less interesting and there was a strong headwind on the descent which made for some pedaling. Nevertheless, we got a good view of the Val D'Isere, which is a ski resort town. Pedaling past the uninteresting ski town of Val D'Isere, the road enters several long tunnels which were a pleasant respite from the heat in 2005, but now were a little scary on a fastish descent with unlit galleries and moderately high speed traffic. I became acutely aware that my tail-light had fallen off and destroyed itself earlier in the tour and regretted not remembering to replace it.

At Saint-Foy Tarentaise, I stopped at an intersection and texted XiaoQin to see where she was. To my surprise she showed up in person as she had parked right around the corner and had run out of money on her prepaid Swisscom SIM. We waited in the shade until Phil showed up and drove down to Bourg St. Maurice. I didn't remember anything to recommend Bourg St. Maurice, so when the tourist information center told us that there was lodging available up Cormet Roseland, I jumped at it as an opportunity to get away from the heat.

The Bourg St. Maurice side of Cormet Roseland was steep and climbed away fast, but when we got to the lodging it didn't look very appealing to XiaoQin, though the price seemed very nice to Phil. Remembering the Beaufort was pretty and had good lodging, I suggested we go there, stopping by various places on Cormet Roseland for photos.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

The plan was to visit my friend Jennie Chen near Geneva tomorrow afternoon, but we would have the morning to climb it. Beaufort was just as pretty as I remembered it, and we found lodging at a reasonable price. The room was cool and there was a nice supermarket and a small downtown area to walk around in.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

Our hotel even had parking! We took the half pension and got a good meal out of it.


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