Solo SM in the Alps

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by peterdejongh, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    Hi all,

    We 've had a lousy summer over here in Belgium. Cold and rainy weather for almost the whole month of July. I had some time of and really didn't feel like sitting at home and watching the rain pooring down. So, I packed my motorbike and set out for ride in the French & Italian Alps for about 10 days.
    As I've bought a KTM 990 SM in 2011 this was a good oportunity to test the travel capability of the bike. Being a SM motorbike... it should be able to do some offroading with it...
    Well, let's give it a go !

    On the first day I drove through Belgium and France, stayed for the night somewhere in the middle of France. And arrived in the Alps the day after. And guess what ? the sun is shining :D

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/319388_342747649138219_1123889497_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/292992_342747779138206_18569641_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/255253_342747709138213_1916107555_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,302
    Location:
    Toronto
    Keep it comin' :lurk
    #2
  3. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    a nice warm sun... great mountainviews...superroads.. is this heaven ?
    I'm riding towards the beautiful town of Briancon and enjoying the fantastic mountainpasses.
    Not to much text... just some pictures

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/603836_342747805804870_3505466_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/404166_342747829138201_5948538_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/409753_342747925804858_886959708_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
    #3
  4. stimmer6253472

    stimmer6253472 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    366
    Location:
    Belton, Mo.
    very cool. i spent 5 days in the vosges mtns last week. wish i would have made it further south.
    jim
    #4
  5. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    a few beers on a nice terras, a good sleep in some old hotel room and the day after I'm ready for some small adventure. My goal for today is to ride the Col du Parpaillon. An unpaved mountainpass with a rather dark and muddy tunnel as a sherry on top of it. Sounds fun ...:evil
    At the first stage it's an easy going smooth path.. but things change a little bit.
    As the mountainroad is getting steeper and rocks are all over the tight corners I'm starting to sweat... hmm, was this the right choice to do with my bike on roadtyre's and all by myself ? As I'm crawling slowly higher and higher I'm getting together with 3 other bikers on BMW's. And we stick together to make the last kilometers to the top and the tunnel. And we reach this top without breaking our legs. Up there, my companions are driving directly further trough the tunnel and going back down, while I stay for a while and enjoy the magnificent view.
    And then into the dark gate of hell .. the Tunnel de Parpaillon ! It's not all that bad. It's as dark as the inside of the earth, there is a lot of water in it... some mud...and its slippery... but it's fun ! and seeing this small light at the end which getting bigger by the minute is a nice experience.
    Going back down is easier than the way up and I end this small adventure at the roadside terrace looking back at at marvelous day

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/487822_342747842471533_124622615_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/parpaillon.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/486493_342747979138186_1986017509_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/599263_342747992471518_376543890_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/582108_342748109138173_1321884686_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/392201_342748139138170_1015390159_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/392224_342748159138168_1898712388_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/205311_342748182471499_944221281_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/peterdejongh/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/peterdejongh/580767_342748192471498_685802955_n.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
    #5
  6. MuddySump

    MuddySump Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    97
    Looks nice down there. Might have to have a visit sometime.

    Went to the Pyreneese 2 years ago with a friend but on road bikes so to unpaved roads then
    #6
  7. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    after the col de Parpaillon went further south and made some detours, but the next big thing was the Col de Sommeiller. Most of the people around here will know this as the place where the annual Stella Alpina rally is taking place. I was in Bardonecchia some weeks later however.

    So, I climbed this highest mountainroad in the Alps on my own

    I couldn't make it to the top however. Just about 100m from the top, there is a large snowfield which I can' t pass on my roadtyre's...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. LethPhaos

    LethPhaos brb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    605
    Location:
    Belgistan
    awesome, just my kind of adventure, and great pictures to top it all off :)
    where does the track for the col de sommeiller start? I can't find it on google maps :)
    #8
  9. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    Hi
    Thanks for the comments.

    The col de sommelier starts in the villlage of Rochemolles.
    It's a small asphalt road from Bardonecchia to this village.
    From there on the "unpaved" section begins.
    It's al smooth and easy going just until the rifugio Scarfiotti.
    From there on the going get's tougher.
    But it's fun :)
    #9
  10. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Those are some wild looking tracks! And on street tires, no less! :clap More, please. P.S. lovely photos, too.
    #10
  11. ac72

    ac72 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Tell me the camera is lying and it wasn't really that steep and dusty on those tyres... please!! :)
    #11
  12. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    The camera is lying a little bit... but it was with sweaty hands and shivering knees that I made my way back down :uhoh
    #12
  13. MuddySump

    MuddySump Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    97
    Wow nice pics. Will def have to pay a visit

    Sent from my GT-I9100P using Tapatalk 2
    #13
  14. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    I really like that picture. What's the camera?

    I did the Parpaillon solo on street tires this year as well :D I had the same feeling as it got steeper and I met some MX guys coming down on knobbies, I wondered what it would be like coming down for me if it got any steeper :rofl At nearly 9000ft, it's quite the experience really. I'm glad they unblocked the tunnel and still allow motorists to pass
    #14
  15. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    Hi,
    Thanks for the nice comments.
    With which bike did you made your way up to the Parpaillon ?
    It's doable with every bike offcourse (my brother drove it with his Kawasaki ZX10 !!:huh (the fool ))

    The pics are made with a Nikon D700 by the way.
    #15
  16. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    belgium
    I searched for some smaller roads and nice little mountainroads afterwards. Wihthout a real plan, I just enjoyed the mountains and it's incredible beauty
    Not to much text... I let the images speak.

    [​IMG]

    some friendly old fashioned bikers I met on the road

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    It was just my street tires that had me worried, not knowing how much steeper and loose the gravel hairpins would be higher up haha. I did it with a GS, but in the end I just came down a bit more carefully than the guys on knobbies. I've experience much worse before on a smaller hill on dusty fine sand over hard pack I pretty had to crawl down on a z750
    #17
  18. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,660
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Peter

    Where is this?

    amazing pics (as always)

    Cheers

    Shane
    #18
  19. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,660
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #19