Tour 2020,  25 - 28 June

stagedistance (km)climbing (m)
Ringlikon - Luzern - Langnau i. E. - Liebefeld1512160
Liebefeld - Riffenmatt - Euschels - Grubenberg - Château-d'Oex1012360
Château-d'Oex - Ayerne - Sonlomont - Château-d'Oex601170
Château-d'Oex - Gstaad - Pillon - Gstaad48740
total3606430


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Stage 1 (25 June 2020): Ringlikon - Luzern - Langnau i. E. - Liebefeld

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After years of searching for the big road passes in the Alps, the time had come to look after smaller ones. This year, i decided to leave again directly from home. The first pass on my way was thus not unknown: it was the Whiskeypass, which anyway includes 3 hairpin bends from Landikon. Then i had a long part of almost flat roads, passing Affoltern am Albis, Sins and Root to reach Lucerne. Close to the hospital of this city, i took a street on the left which brought me up to a small urban pass, the Geissmatthöhe. After going down across the river Reuss, i headed west through Littau and Malters. Then, instead of making the detour through the valley of the Kleine Emme, i cut through the mountains via the Rengg pass to reach Entlebuch. I then climbed on the other side of the valley towards Habschwanden. There i had to stop to repair a flat tire. No external cause, it was a defect of the tube itself. A Chinese product sold under a European brand, as i later noticed when i patched it.
I continued on the back side the ridge and made a small hook to a pass a bit off the road, the Heiterloch. It is further on, at the Schüpferegg, that i went back to the Entlebuch side of the ridge. After riding down to Schüpfen, i followed the road from Lucerne to Bern, first climbing the Entlebuch to Escholzmatt and then going down to Langnau im Emmental. From then on, i had a bit of headwind. I left the valleys at the mouth of the Ilfis into the Emme. My route became steep again, with small, partly very steep roads, for example to the Eggelriedegg pass. A little further on, my route went through the Hinteregg pass to go down to Arni. The following passes were close, Tanne, Hammegg and Bulestel. To reach the next one, i had again to go down to a valley, in Walkringen, and then up to Chrini. Then, between the Worb valley and Bern, only the Dentenberg remained, not high but steep as well. Once I'd passed this bump and gone down to Gümligen, i still had to cross part of the city of Bern to get to my brother Yves and his family, who had kindly agreed to let me stop off at their place.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Ringlikon0630 
Landikon4490 
Whiskeypass556070
Maschwanden22390 
Geissmatthöhe4748090
St. Karl (Luzern)49430 
Oberrengg (Littau)53540110
Stegmättli55470 
Schachen6152050
Renggpass68960440
Entlebuch71680 
Habschwanden74850170
Heiterloch7693080
Schüpferegg79102090
Schüpfheim82710 
Escholzmatt91860150
Emmenmatt110650 
Eggelriedegg114940290
Hinteregg117100060
Arnisäge121820 
Tanne12290080
Hammegg12395050
Neuhaupt12497020
Bulestel125880 
Walkringen128690 
Chrini133850160
Nesselbank138550 
Dentenberg140720170
Gümligen143560 
Monbijou (Bern)148520 
Liebefeld15160080
total151 2160

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Stage 2 (26 June 2020): Liebefeld - Riffenmatt - Euschels - Grubenberg - Château-d'Oex

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From Liebefeld, you can quickly get out of the Bernese conurbation: ride through Köniz, turn left, and it's already quiet. The road goes up through the Köniztal and then down to Kehrsatz and more traffic again. I turned right towards Belp and then into the Gürbetal valley. The weather was nice and the ride easy. From Kaufdorf, i climbed up the west side of the valley to reach first the Oberschönegg pass and then Plötsch. Then i had a rather long descent with some wooden covered bridges to Rüschegg-Graben. Turning there the left, i went up towards Riffenmatt. The climb wasn't hard, but i anyway took a break on a restaurant terrace when i reached the pass. Then i didn't go directly down into the valley of the Singine/Sense, but i went in the direction of Sangernboden, which meant riding a bit up before going down again. This gave me a first glimpse towards my next goal, the valley of Schwarzsee. To go there, the road went up gently from Zollhaus. Further on, it was quite different, no more road but a steep gravel road, interspersed with many very steep passages with concrete slabs forming two ruts. But it was expected that this climb to the Euschels pass would be difficult with my touring bike. So i didn't let myself get discouraged and pushed through the steepest passages. The beginning, with the view of the Schwarzsee lake, and the end, with the pass and the mountains, were the most beautiful parts. I arrived at the pass a little before one o'clock in the afternoon.
In the descent to Jaun, i made a short stop at the ruin of Bellegarde. Once in the valley, i headed towards the Jaun pass, but only for about a kilometer, because then i turned right to climb via Abländschen towards the Grubenberg pass. It's a small road with very little traffic and it was very nice to ride through there. The sky was more and more overcast and in the last part of the descent to Saanen it started to rain. By the time i got to the small Unterbort pass, it was a big storm. As i wasn't too far from my goal, i didn't worry too much about getting wet. Towards Château-d'Oex, the official cycle route only partly avoids roads with heavy traffic, and at the cost of more gradient for bikes than for cars. It is as if this would be on purpose to favour electric bikes. Anyway, after Rougemont i found dry roads again. It was mid-afternoon when i arrived in Château-d'Oex where my girlfriend Angelika was to join me later by car, coming directly from Zurich.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Liebefeld0600 
Köniz1570 
Köniztal564070
Kehrsatz7570 
Kaufdorf15540 
Oberschönegg21790250
Elbschen22770 
Plötsch24900130
Rüschegg-Graben30740 
Riffenmatt361080340
Buechwald37109010
Stapfenböden381060 
Martenen441210150
Hoflanderebrugg49920 
Unter Schafera5094020
Zollhaus51890 
Schwarzsee561050160
Euschelspass611570520
Jaun671010 
Grubenberg781630620
Pont de la Scie851100 
Unterbort86115050
Saanen891010 
Les Allamans921000 
Rougemont93101010
Flendruz96970 
Les Granges98100030
Château-d'Oex101940 
total101 2360

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Stage 3 (27 June 2020): Château-d'Oex - Ayerne - Sonlomont - Château-d'Oex

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For this day, we have planned a tour with two branches, each one to a pass. Angelika drove up to La Lécherette. I met her after riding there by bike. As I arrived, it started to rain. We were lucky that it was just when we could find shelter under an eaves! If the rain was heavy, it didn't last long. A good quarter of an hour later, we were able to saddle up for the Hongrin. As it was Saturday, we could ride into this military exercise area. So we took advantage of the beautiful road around the lake, overhanging the lake. There were slight climbs and descents, but it always remained close to the elevation of 1400 m. Arriving at the Ayerne pass, we admired the Tour d'Aï and the Tour de Mayen. To have the view over the Rhone Valley and Lake Geneva, we would have had to go further, but inbstead we returned by the same road towards La Lécherette. In the meantime this road was mostly dry. At first glance the next pass, Sonlomont, did not seem much harder since it was only a good hundred meters higher than La Lécherette. Except that it was interspersed with descents, and in total this second round trip still required more than 300 m of climbing, partly quite steep. But the view was beautiful and we had time. We arrived at the pass in the early afternoon. On mountain bikes, we might have returned by riding first down to the Hongrin lake, but with the bikes we had, it was wiser to take the same route back. So we went again to La Lécherette. And from there we returned to Château-d'Oex each by our own means: Angelika with the bike in the car and me on my bike.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Château-d'Oex0940 
Le Berceau1900 
L'Etivaz81140240
La Lécherette121390250
Les Anteinettes131350 
Sur Catherine17140050
Joux Cergnat191370 
La Rossière20140030
Le Vaudroz211370 
Joux Noires23144070
Les Crêtes241420 
Col d'Ayerne25147050
Les Crêtes261420 
Joux Noires27144020
Le Vaudroz291370 
La Rossière30140030
Joux Cergnat311370 
Sur Catherine33140030
Les Anteinettes371350 
La Lécherette38139040
Les Mossettes401570180
Pâquier à l'Henri411550 
La Plaudri42158030
Col de Sonlomont431490 
La Plaudri44158090
Pâquier à l'Henri451550 
Les Mossettes46157020
L'Etivaz521140 
Le Berceau59900 
Château-d'Oex6094040
total60 1170

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Stage 4 (28 June 2020): Château-d'Oex - Gstaad - Pillon - Gstaad

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On Sunday, the weather was overcast and quite cool for the season. We decided to climb up to the Pillon pass, which i hadn't been since 1995. Like the day before, Angelika first drove a part by car. I went by bike over Rougemont and Saanen, and i met just after Gstaad. And like the day before, the continuation of the journey was only possible because it was the weekend. Nothing to do here with the army, but during the week the road would have been closed for work. Fortunately, there weren't too many people taking advantage of the opening and the traffic wasn't too heavy. Up to Gsteig, the slope was gentle. Then it was steeper, but without any real difficulty. At noon, we reached the Pillon pass. From there, my plan would have been to continue and ride to the Valais the next day. But the weather forecast was very bad, with rain almost non-stop. So i decided to ride down to Gstaad and drive back with Angelika. She was obviously not unhappy that she didn't have to drive all the way back to Zurich alone.
Even if it was a bit shortened, the 30th edition of my annual tour in the Alps had made me see beautiful landscapes and even discover some passes that were new to me.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Château-d'Oex0940 
Les Granges2100060
Gérignoz3950 
Les Revers5101060
Pont6960 
Rougemont799030
Le Vanel8102030
Öy101000 
Rüebeldorf12104040
Mettlen (Gstaad)131030 
Gstaad14105020
Feutersoey20113080
Gsteig24118050
Col du Pillon311550370
Gsteig381180 
Feutersoey421130 
Wispile (Gstaad)481050 
total48 740


PS / 9.7.2020