Double Down, Part 1…

Looking east from Le Mélezin, 1,880m alt.

IT had been a week since my last ride (sounds like an AA meeting), although been hacking ’round town & skatepark on the Nukeproof most days – but not a proper off-road shred in the mountains and that is what’s required for a peaceful mind and happy body.  So on Friday afternoon I decided to go for a big one, and what turns out might’ve been the last high altitude shred of the season…

I went to tackle the Double Descents of Col Des Ayes & Le Mélezin which when I look up at them today (3 days later) are both covered in fresh snow after the first pre-season dump that’s reached its icy hand below 2,000m

First dump to reach below 2,000m

When I say Double Descents that obviously means Double Ascents too!  I set out at about 14h00 at the usual fast pace down to the river then through town to Villar-St-Pancrace and then you climb.  It’s a nice easy fire road all the way up to the little hameau of Les Ayes which sits at about 1,750m alt.  After Les Ayes you get up to a nice clearing/pic-nic spot where you cross the river and continue onwards and upwards…the higher you go the worse the track gets and there’s some pretty steep sections but nothing to testing

Les Ayes, 1,850m alt.

          

          

Continuing up the trail and checking my watch I realise I have now done over 1,000m of vertical ascent and as I hadn’t done this route before I don’t know much higher I have to go.  There’s obviously amazing views everywhere you turn but when you come across animals it’s always a good excuse to stop, take a some photos and have a breather for a minute or two…thank you cows bulls      :-/

                    

That young black bull wasn’t feeling me at all and I’d left my matador gear at home so thought it was time to continue up the trail and see how high it would take me.  After about another 100m of vertical I reached a small gite and some little shepherds huts and a bit after that and three hours after setting out the trail stopped at about 2,300m alt.  Time for a drink, an energy bar and try to find the top of the Col des Ayes descent so the fun part could begin 🙂

Trail head, 2,305m alt.

End of Part 1…

Categories: Briancon, Mountain Biking, Mountains, Photography, Serre Chevalier, Snow, weather, Wildlife, XC Mountain Biking | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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