Alpine Gravel Crossing: from Thun to Vevey via Gravel and Alps

As always, with Nick Blake, you’d better be prepared for the unknown…and pray it doesn’t rain, cause he doesn’t like rain. But when the weather is good, then you’ll have the time of your life trying to keep up with him and exploring roads unknown.

I felt ready for an adventure this weekend, and Nick suggested researching a route that would bring us from Thun, over the Alps all the way to Lausanne…on primarily off the beaten track, gravel roads.

Komoot: https://www.komoot.com/tour/17289188 

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We set off in the direction of Gantrisch national park and made our way up Gurnigel pass. I quickly realised I had forgotten to add a ring to my rear cassette and just like in Iceland, spent the next hour cursing myself for not preparing my bike for such steep climbs. Nick of course, was optimally geared with a granny granny ring which could be ‘activated’ by pressing a button on the handlebar (sneaky SRAM).

Once we made it up Gurnigel, we proceeded towards Schwarzsee and had a plate of chips each. It was the better alternative to everythingelsefried. Schwarzsee is beautiful, well worth a stopover. I was warned that the following climb was going to be brutal. And it was. You know when you see concrete slabs on the ground to provide traction for army vehicles, that you are in trouble….

I walked. Nick didn’t. Nothing new.

Scoping out the ensuing descent:

The descending on the other side was superb, until we had a big rockey path which was more suited to fatter tyres.

I walked. Nick didn’t. Nothing new.

The view out over Gruyére and Charmey was spectacular.

 

4 hours later and the last climb of the day was one of the nicest. From Bulle up and over into Les Pacottes, almost paved the whole way and maybe rideable on a road bike with good tyres.

The last ascent:

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and we came across this memorial on the way…

 

Finished off the day cross eyed, with a couple of beers by Lac Leman…its days like these in Switzerland, I will miss the most!

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