Unknown France Without a Bike

Unknown France Without a Bike

Today the Tour de France was visited by the unremarkable Col de la Morte climb. Helicopters and directors, to the best of their ability, looked for the most interesting angles, but,  compared to Col du Glandon or Lacets de Montvernier, the only thing La Morte remembered was the sprinters’ dump.

This would be true from a cycling point of view, but fortunately, there is one good rule of thumb in the Alps – if the road goes up, then there are good reasons. So, in the village of the same name, La Morte, there is a budget ski resort – a favourite vacation spot for students from Lyon and Grenoble. It was at the invitation of our friends – former students from Lyon, that we got here. We lived in a wooden blockhouse and entertained ourselves for a week with via Ferrata, rock climbing and simply climbing local peaks.

In the village itself, there are boarding houses, but on the outskirts, you can rent unpretentious amenities there is only water and electricity. You will have to cook on the stove, which also serves for heating in winter. When they need to celebrate, they go to the “French toilet” on the street, which in France is called “Turkish”. Such Spartan conditions are chosen by French students for recreation and, moreover, they gladly return to these places after grade.

What to do if you really want to, but no skills. Under this motto, in the Austrian Alps, at the end of the 19th century, the Via Ferrata routes were built. On these iron paths, everyone can experience the adrenaline rush of the feeling of the abyss underfoot, but without putting themselves at high risk. Those who are afraid of heights get twice as high.

Via Ferrata is a route along a steep cliff, equipped with safety wire ropes, ladders, holds and other devices that should provide maximum safety for a person who has never climbed in his life. Each alpine village in France and Switzerland has a rental point for equipment for such trails and, in most cases, you can climb yourself, which saves money on an instructor.

La Morte offers two routes. Both require good physical preparation and are separated only by the fact that the first route stretches along a mountain stream and rarely leaves more than 5 meters underfoot, while the second one stupidly rushes into a sheer cliff and, for those who are afraid of heights, this is the thrill. For everyone else, just good views and photo angles.

Almost all the beauties that are filmed from a helicopter during the Tour de France report can be reached on foot. All the trails here are neatly marked and it is extremely difficult to get lost. The only thing to keep track of is the time – the sense of distance in the mountains is very deceptive and the lake, which is just a stone’s throw away, may actually require several hours a
La Morte is not for tourists. It is quite difficult to get here by public transport, but if you really want to, then it is best to do it from Grenoble. When buying a map of the area, you need to choose the territory of L’Alpe du Grand Serre.

Chalet rentals can be arranged in the village itself and shouldn’t be a problem in summer. In winter, Google and the keywords Chalet de L’Association “Art et ski” will help. At worst, you can ask me a couple of phones;)

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