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 Sujet du message: 2012 TransAlp Trip
MessagePublié: 16 Août 2012, 20:10 
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Inscrit(e) le : 04 Août 2012, 14:59
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Ok, here goes.....

We drove over to Chamonix where I got my kit loaded/packed and went for a little test ride.

The next morning I was up and out by 05:30 and in Italy by 06:00.

I then drove across the top of Italy and parked the car in Rovereto (24km from the end of the my TransAlp route).

I jumped on the train to the Austrian border, rode 26km to Innsbruck and finally took another train into Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany where I spent the night.

I was on the trail by 07:30 eager to get going on my big adventure - here's a shot just outside of town:

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The bike-path went on for a good 10 miles or so (of gentle climbing) as the rain began to fall before things finally brightened up and the trail headed upwards for the first time.

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Here's a nice shot of a tree growing on top of a huge boulder at the base of the first big climb of the day:

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On the way up I saw my only other people of the day - a German couple who told me that the climb I was on was really hard (not particularly true) and that I'd never make it on my fully-laden bike (also not true):

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Once the descent started the alpine views began and I got to glimpse the immensity of the Alps (and get a taste of what was to come) for the first time:

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At one point I stopped as I realised that the trail vanished and that I had to ride along an confidence (un)inspiring wooden balcony which was pinned to the cliff face - here's me trying to scale said cliff face to mount the camera in order to take a little video footage:

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Once I hit the bottom of the big descent it was pretty much bike-track and/or very quiet roads for the next 10 miles to the end of the days route (although I foolishly began the big climb of day 02 at the end of day 01).

At this point I was beginning to worry that the route I'd chosen might be a little too technically simple.

There were a few interesting bits (like the one below) but on the whole it was easy fireroad climbs and semi-interesting bike-track/fireroad descents (which is clearly a bit of a crime).

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(don't worry - I didn't remain unimpressed with the routes technical difficulty after day 01)

As i began climbing again it started to rain and so I took refuge in a bus shelter for a while and ate some food before deciding to make a break for it. After a while (and having spotted nowhere to camp) a proper storm began and I quickly took a little side-road and hurried to get my tent up before everything was drenched.

The night was spent being dripped on (as I'd apparently not seam-sealed the tent very well) and so not a lot of sleep was had and I awoke damp, tired and still pretty much knackered (although this all sounds fairly negative I never once thought anything other than how much I was loving my first taste of adventure)

Here's my camping spot in the morning sun:

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Not too shabby hey....?

So, day 01 ended with me being tired, wet and loving every minute of my trip so far!

I rode 88.3km (55 miles) and climbed just over 1000m (3280ft).

Not a bad start.

Tune in next time to find out what exciting things happened on day two.....

Cheers, Gairy.

_________________
site: http://gairy.co.uk

movie: https://vimeo.com/46580213


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 Sujet du message: Re: 2012 TransAlp Trip
MessagePublié: 16 Août 2012, 20:11 
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Ok, day 02.....

I woke up pretty early as everything was damp (especially where the leak was funnily enough!) and so got up and started to pack everything away.

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Before long I passed through a nice little village where I devoured some local pastries (although neither the German nor Austrian pastries lived up to my expectations on the whole) before continuing upwards.

Luckily one of the outdoor shops in the village happened to have some seam-sealer for my tent (as it's a ski resort in the winter and so there were loads of sports shops) - result!

Once I'd left the main road behind and begun climbing a nice little mountain road I found a perfect spot to dry out my gear:

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After a while the road became fireroad and the whole mood of the climb changed:

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I'm no expert but I know most common bird calls and so I was surprised to be hearing a weird one I'd never heard before - it wasn't long before I discovered the culprits - Marmots!

They're not shy either - this one was about 8ft away and still not worrying about my presence:

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The climb continued.....

.....and continued.....

I rode, ate, rode, swam/washed, rode, ate some more and I was still climbing:

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As I got further and further up the valley the views got better and better:

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Nearing the top I was forced to shoulder the bike more than once as things were getting pretty steep:

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Here's a shot taken looking back down the valley I'd just climbed:

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Once at the top (after 8 hours of climbing!) I stopped at a mountain refuge for some local Austrian sausage and sauerkraut before beginning the descent.

There are no photographs of the descent as the cloud had moved in and I could only see about 20ft in front of me!

(note: this would become a theme throughout the whole trip - there's a severe lack of photographs of certain sections due to rain/cloud - apologies!)

I eventually dropped down out of the cloud:

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But.....it was chasing me and shortly after the shot below was taken the daily evening storm began (including a 3 inch thick covering of HUGE hail) and I just made it to a lovely little B+B before getting drenched:

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I repaired my leaking tent and went out for dinner (local Venison, mushroom sauce and some tasty little cranberry-like berries) and a pint - nice!

I was tucked up in bed by 21:00 and got a great nights sleep.

Another brilliant day (yes, even the uphill!) and I was looking forward to more.....

_________________
site: http://gairy.co.uk

movie: https://vimeo.com/46580213


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 Sujet du message: Re: 2012 TransAlp Trip
MessagePublié: 17 Août 2012, 07:46 
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Inscrit(e) le : 04 Août 2012, 14:59
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Day 03:

Despite what the profile of the .gpx file indicates below I did not descend to sea-level before climbing a 1.5km vertical cliff at the start of day 03!

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It did however feel like riding up a cliff-face as I began the long steep road climb up out of town.

I must admit that the morning of day 03 had me looking seriously at the cable-car which ran alongside my route (and would have saved me a good few hours of climbing) but I won that particular mental battle and was rewarded with probably my favourite days riding of the trip.

That's not say that the 5 hour climb before lunch didn't hurt (IT DID!) but the trail/scenery more than made it worth while.

Views like this:

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.....and this:

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oh, and this:

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Around lunchtime I made to a little mountain hut where I enjoyed an over-priced and thoroughly unimpressive lunch before swiftly moving on.

It was another couple of hours to the summit and so I got a shuffle on (you can just about make out the mountain hut in the valley in the photograph below):

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Nearing the top things got more and more barren and lunar:

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Nothing remarkable to note (other than the 360° panoramic views which were too wide to be captured on camera) at the top and so I began to head down one of the most technical and physically demanding downhills I've ever had the pleasure of riding!

Here's the beginning:

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I took a load of video footage of the descent but it's all way too shaky to be of any use - it's a shame but is what happens if you don't fork out the big money on an action video camera.

Here's a shot looking back where I'd been:

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.....and one looking forward from the same spot:

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Still a long way to ride downhill yet!

At one point I rode through a cloud of butterflies (cloud is the only way to describe it) - literally thousands of them within a couple of hundred meters of trail.

I'd accidentally scattered most of them but there were still a fair few around as you can see below:

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Descent over I realise that at some point I'd entered Switzerland and so I re-stocked in a nice little mountain town before heading skywards once more.

The beginning of the ascent doesn't look much on the profile but it was a gruelling road climb which turned into a lovely desolate fireroad as you can see below:

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It was getting late but I was delaying stopping as I kept seeing signs that there might be more bears in this part of the Alps than I'd been lead to believe.

A motorbike left at the side of the trail with a rifle propped up against it (should have taken it!), claw marks higher up trees than I was happy to see, lots of signs indicating not to leave food around as it would attract bears and worst of all a wooden sculpture of a bear climbing a tree which took me a while to conclude wasn't a real bear before I dared pass it on the trail.

So, I set-up camp, ate a crappy meal (I wish I remembered the brand/type so that I would ensure that others didn't suffer such culinary crimes in the future) and went to sleep.

I slept with a sharpened stick just outside the fly-sheet and with the wheel of my bike just next to the tent so that I could pop the tyre with my knife (simulating a gunshot) if I was to be approached in the night.

Here's my camping spot:

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Other than being frightened to death by every movement and noise in the night I survived the night (and more rain!) and awoke, cooked some breakfast and was back on the trail by 07:00.

What a day!

_________________
site: http://gairy.co.uk

movie: https://vimeo.com/46580213


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 Sujet du message: Re: 2012 TransAlp Trip
MessagePublié: 17 Août 2012, 10:53 
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Inscrit(e) le : 14 Février 2012, 17:26
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Localisation : Entre 2 Mers (33)
You have some technical tracks on the way ?
Have you a weight of your gear ?


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 Sujet du message: Re: 2012 TransAlp Trip
MessagePublié: 18 Septembre 2012, 14:37 
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Inscrit(e) le : 04 Août 2012, 14:59
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Romain,

Yeah, some really technical trails (though not all the time) - day 3 had an insanely technical downhill section - it was stunning!

And no, I haven't weighed my kit as a whole but I have been analysing my kit choices and reviewing my gear on my blog.

Take a look at: [url]gairy.co.uk[/url] to read more about (sorry, it's all in English!).

I've been away a lot in the last few months but I'll try and post more on the forum (and in French too!) as I'd be really interested to make/meet more bikepacking friends in France.

Cheers, Gairy.

_________________
site: http://gairy.co.uk

movie: https://vimeo.com/46580213


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