Climb on Emosson

This tour wasn’t planned at all.

It all started with a Strava activity from a fellow rider who rode up to the Emosson dam. It picked my curiosity and I studied the trace and eventually put it on my “to do” list for next year.

Then I glanced at the meteo forecast and Monday 2. November was supposed to be a rather hot day for the season, with 18°C being expected in Switzerland. For the following days, it would be doom and gloom; cold wind, fog, fog and some fog.

I quickly realized that would be my last chance of the season to ride to the Emosson dam, the next opportunity would be in over 7-8 months, as the dams are at 2000 and 2300m high respectively.

By the time I figured all that, it was 1a.m. on 2. November. I started to visualized the day, as I usually do, planned and tried to get some sleep or it would be a miserable day.

A too few couple of hours later, at 5:30 a.m., I was on the computer tracing the route. As usual, I had strong time constrain, and 6 hours were all I had to drive to the mountains, ride and go back home.

The electric bike obviously was the travel mean of choice, as I wouldn’t have been able to ride so fast on a muscular bike.

At 6 a.m., I had my planning done. And that was pretty much all that was done.

2 hours later I was on the highway with the bike, a backpack and a smile from ear to ear.

I threw some snacks in the backpack, but forgot both to eat a breakfast and eat altogether during the tour. It was only at 2 p.m. that I realized that I was feeling quite miserable, as I didn’t eat and barely drank all day. The gorgeous landscape and peaceful vibes were all the food I needed.

The landscapes didn’t disappoint, and COVID period being, plus end of the season, I was all alone.

I rode a paved route for an hour without meeting a car.

For real.

Never happened in my life. Such a feeling of freedom and relief.

I must have stopped at least 30 times during the climb on the Emosson dam. Just to enjoy an empty road.

Emosson dam

I too soon arrived at the Emosson dam, being greated by strong warm winds. On this moment, I was riding in t-shirt, my long and too warm pant rolled up to the knees.

Emosson has two dams, the old Emosson and supposedly the new Emosson, which is the first we see.

My plan was to ride up to the old Emosson, the higher the better.

The climb to the old Emosson was steep, 15% for over 1km and paved with obstacles on a narrow road. But it was magic to ride in such a scenery.

I wish I had more time to spend just basking into the landscape, but the clock was ticking and as soon as I had traded my t-shirt for a Gore-tex Vest, I was already down to the new Emosson.

I had planned to explore the right side of the dam, which starts by a long and very cold tunnel.

But the tunnel was closed for the winter. I didn’t dare trespass the signs, maybe I should have. I have regrets, now.

So I rode back down the valley, to the car and this agitation, Covid madness, and back to a world of insanity.

A video of the tour here:

A gallery of the tour here: