Sunday 16 September 2018

Lac de Moiry

According to the Cycling Challenge Lac de Moiry dam is one of the hardest to climb by bike. It's definitely one of the most beautiful dam I've ever seen as it is connected with Moiry Glacier which is simply stunning
There are over 200 major dams in Switzerlnad and most of the them are located in the Alps.

Dams play an important role in this small country. They are used to form reservoirs to hold back or store water or mud, and to hold back sediment, ice or snow. The water stored in reservoirs is mainly used for energy production, water supply, irrigation, production of artificial snow, fish farms, reserves for fire-fighting operations and the regulation of water levels in lakes.  About 90% of all dams are built to generate hydro-electricity. Because they retain the water when plentiful, they also play an increasingly important role during floods, since they limit the volume of water downstream and thus help reduce damage.

Moiry glacier & dam is located in canton Valais. It's located opposite to Sion. The good place to start the ride is Sierre where you can park your car or come by train. 
There are two ways to reach the glacier. First, small, steep road which was closed at the time I was there and the second, main one, less steep but you need to deal with the cars.

After about 25km from Sierre you reach beautiful, ancient village called  Grimentz. It's worth to stop there for a coffee and refill the water as during the climb to dam you won't find any other water supply. 

Climb itself is beautiful. Although you have to reach 2400 altitude you don't really feel that. Maybe only last part of the road which leads up to dam is a bit challenging, but nothing serious. I found this climb much easier than Emosson which is my favorite dam.

Once you're on the top you can enjoy your reward - The View!
The size of the dam and lake is impressive. Water has nice green color and if the weather is good you can see all the high peaks surrounding you.
Now, the most interesting part starts after the dam but you need to be aware of the glacier to take that road, otherwise people just see the dam and go back. What a mistake!

So to continue your trip there is a small road on the left. It doesn't look that nice but it's totally fine for the road bike.

After a while it's starting to be a normal paved road. The real destination point is just around the corner... and if we look back we see that:

...and if we don't look back and just pedal, after few minutes we are finally there:

I must say that usually I don't stay too long on the top but this time I lost the track of time. I was staring on this glacier for an hour or so. The pictures do not show all details but overall it's massive glacier, much bigger than the one on Furka (imo). I was really lucky with the weather so all tiny details were visible. This is a nice spot for hiking too so you can get closer to the Moiry glacier even more. 

After consuming my reward it was time to go back. I had in plans to climb on Zinal but finally skipped it. I was few days before Tour de Mont Blanc so had to keep my legs fresh.

On the descent I took the same road. It goes very nicely down through the rocks with superb views

Before getting to the main road, the Moiry gave to me and my ritchey a nice spa compounded from sand, mud and water. 

But after all it didn't matter. For the whole way down I had in mind the picture of Moiry glacier...

All in all, HIGHLY recommend you this climb. If you'll be around Vallais, that place should be on your top list.

"Ride and get lost"
Link to strava here

Thanks for reading!


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