Seasons definitely changing

It’s inter-season now in Chamonix, which means as well as the lifts closing, the shops are starting to cut back their opening hours, and town empties as everyone heads off on holiday. Wanting to get a classic ride in before packing the bike up for my holidays, I thought the Loriaz chalets loop would do the job nicely.

Climb out of Buet

It’s one of the absolute best non-lift accessed loops in and around Chamonix, but being a little out of the valley doesn’t see quite as much traffic as some of the other non-lift accessed loops.


Most years the train can make life easier, getting you to Buet and from Vallorcine without any effort, but not this year. Despite this, it’s popularity is definitely increasing and there’s more tyre tracks on the route these days than when I was first shown the route a few years ago.

Paul dropping in

The ascent from Buet was as painful as ever, possibly more so with Paul “the machine” tearing up ahead of us, despite just finishing a quick 3 day Tour du Mont Blanc (check out his write up here for inspiration) but a little over an hour after leaving Buet we were at the cross, looking at the falling snowline and dropping our saddles.

fast and flowing

If the climb was as painful as normal, the descent was as good as normal, starting above the trees in surprisingly Scottish terrain before dropping into the forest.

It never gets too tech, staying fast and flowing all the way down

final descent into Vallorcine

All too soon you’re back in Vallorcine for a short pedal back to Buet, or back over the Col du Montets if you’ve got the legs for it.