Village du Loop - Longchamp s(u)


This summit traverses the ridge to the west of the road from La Chambre to Col de la Madeleine. There is a substantial unpaved part. You could also use this route to get to the Col de la Madeleine in an ultra quiet , sneaky way, away from all the motorcycles and skiing condos. But you do get a good view of all of them from above.

1.(460m,00.0km) START-END SOUTH-1: La Chambre station
2.(1350m,11.4km)Bonvillard
3.(1480m,12.7km)turnoff to nearby Village du Loop on left
4.(1901mm,19.0km)TOP: point of highest elevation
5.(1800m,22.0km)route joins D213, coming down from Col de Madeleine
6.(1590m,25.2km)route turns onto small narrow road on right in Longchamp
7.(470m,40.5km)START-END SOUTH-2: la Chambre, same as point 2

Approaches

From South.
The profile on this side starts in La Chambre and follows signs for the Col de Chaussy. One or two km from the summit, in the collection of skiing accommodations called Bonvillard, a narrow paved path climbs steeply between two houses, restricting the width of vehicles that one will encounter from now on considerably. In spite of this narrowly restricted passage, these buildings appear to be modern, not leftovers from the middle ages. Further up Village du Loop is a collection of houses that lie off this paved hiking route. The background of clouds, ice and rock in form of mountains make this a paradisical location.  The pavement ends after the route passes a small picturesque lake used by holiday groups.

The path quickly climbs above treeline amidst a flurry of different wild flowers, ringing cows and the various structures needed to maintain these bells, along with the cows that have to carry these overweight musical monsters around. The road now winds around small undulations of a giant inclined wavy plain, heading straight for Col de Madeleine.


    ^ :on the right side of the picture to "Village du Loop" road ends on the paved approach to Col de la Madeleine
    V :telephoto view to the Col de la Madeleine and the summit house


Eventually the path crosses a hill and the viewshed changes to the skiing towers of Longchamp. Col de Madaleine lies across the tundra at eye level. The restaurant at its summit lies in a perfect shot line. There are various rough ways down towards Longchamp. But staying on this smooth civilized dirt road, the road engages in one more very short climb and then goes to meet the paved road up to Col de Madeleine, in safe distance above the skiing commerce of Longchamp.


From North. (described downwards) You could take the main road back down to La Chambre. But I think the mapped route down a side road on the west side is much nicer. It is definitely quieter. Entering Longchamps, the key is to not follow signs for La Chambre but for Montgellafrey instead. This leads onto a steep, now completely paved descent, mostly through the trees. But once in a while a large 100 yard window opens up onto the wall on the other side, disappearing in the clouds above. An especially memorable section is where the road crosses what appears to be an active rockslide area, with a large drop off.

Approaching the bottom, a switchback and a steep ramp lead to the collection of houses Montgellafrey. From there on the brakepads should get a chance to cool down. Up to now this has been a very steep descent. But  once on the last, long roll into la Chambre, it becomes clear that all the equipment has survived. The profile keeps on descending through La Chambre to its jct with D1006 on the Arve River.

 

Dayride:

PARTIALLY PAVED / UNPAVED

Village du Loop - Longchamp s(u) , Col du Chaussy , additional out and back : Jt Jean Maurienne > up D77 > Montvernier > Montpascal > Col du Chaussy > Bonvillard > Village du Loop > Village du Loop - Longchamp s(u) > jct with D213 <> out and back to top of Col de Madeleine > down D76 > Montgellafrey > La Chambre > back to starting point: 45.8miles with 6510ft of climbing in 5:03hrs (VDO MC1.0 m4:14.6.24).

The last day on this tour with different start and end points over a pass is: Col de Mont Cenis

 



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