This Orange Blood has a mismatch of of bits and pieces on it to make it into a complete bike (some new). The frame is hardly used and is virtually blemish free, the parts are mostly in good condition but I can’t vouch for them all 100%.
Phil worked for endlessride for a few summers. He’s striking out on his own now with “Ride Morzine”.
In Phil’s own words
“Ride Morzine is a specialist cycling holiday company based in Morzine at the heart of the Portes du Soleil. We may be a new business but we have been in Morzine for 8 years, winter and summer, working in the industry. We offer catered mountain bike and road bike chalet holidays with all the expert advice you need to get the most out of your riding holiday. We can help you access the best trails and routes in the area.
Our modern spacious well equipped chalet is based right in the centre of Morzine with easy access to all the lifts and town centre amenities. An adjoining garage stores your bike and we have tools and bike wash facilities to keep you riding.
Tap into all that experience, Ride Morzine is bike rider owned and run – we are the staff.
To see information on road cycling holidays, click the following.
Trying to fit in a “long” day around work and the kids. Start at the desk at 8am, leave at 10.30. Start walk at 10.50, back at car for 3.10pm, back at the desk at 3.30, shower then dinner at 6, back at the desk at 8pm til 10pm. 7 (quality) hrs at the desk 4 (quality) hrs on the hill (on a sunny day).
It’s a classic ridge walk, fairly airy in places so you’ll need a head for heights. There are some new chains on one of the steeper sections. Not on all of them though, there is still a section which is fairly scetchy that has a couple of fresh bolts in it. Great if you have a rope, not so usefull otherwise!
It’s important not to set off if you think the going will be wet on top. The path is clay, if it’s wet it’ll clog your boots up and that could make things even trickier, a slip on some sections doesn’t bear thinking about.
Ideally you would leave a car at the Col d’Encrenaz, then park at Foron. Leave Foron and finish at the Col d’Encrenaz 6 hrs? later. Otherwise you are either left with having to complete the circuit on 2.5km on road or taking a direct line from the Col de la Bas back to Foron over the slopes of the Pointe du Replan, there is no path to speak of here and it’s quite hard going.
The day I did it there was a cold breeze blowing over the ridge. It had been dry for 5 days which was just sufficient for the October sun to dry the route out.
Here is a write up for the week I spent with Lady Collum walking around and climbing amongst the Mont Blanc range.
Lady Collum is 70 years old, she is an accomplished hill walker having been to Everest Base Camp and recently making an ascent of Kilimanjaro (5895m). The Alps are a step on from this. The terrain is steeper and often snow covered, this would mean using heavy boots, rope, crampons, ice axe and taking along someone experienced and qualified as a guide . It is often necessary to do some easy rock-climbing (some people consider this phase an oxymoron) in which case a head for heights and some determination would be required.
A warm up walk. Time to get used to the rough paths of the Alps and a little test, this is the first time I had met with Lady Collum and it was time to see what she was made of. 935m of ascent to Lac Blanc (2352m), starting at Tré le Champ (1417m). 3 hours for the walk up – so on guide book time. We took in the rather airy ladders behind the Aiguillette d’Argentiere. Not a wobble was had and when we descended to the cable car (to save our knees on the descent), Lady Collum sounded disappointed not to be walking down! Result: A pass with flying colours!
On the Mer du Glace, a training day at altitude (to start the process of acclimatisation). It turned out to be a rather rude start, -5C with a 50km/h wind blowing over the narrow knife edge ridge that leaves the Aiguille du Midi (3842m) cable car station. Two boot widths wide and in a couple of places (where the path had collapsed) just one boot width wide. Couple that with the fact this is the only way in and out of the station (so climbers are trying to pass each other) and you’ll understand this was being thrown in at the deep end. Lady Collum did not miss one step. Briefed by me to do exactly as she was told without thinking she took on board Christophe’s advice “walk like Charlie Chaplin and tread like an elephant”. No pictures of this I’m afraid, I was way to scared to go for the camera without stopping and once going I did not want to stop! We did return a few days later and repeated this ridge in better conditions, the video is at the bottom of the article.
Over in Italy, 1 hr the other side of the Tunnel du Mont Blanc we arrived at “Pont” or Pont Valsavarenche (1922m), the was the start of at 2hr11m walk in to the Refuge Vittorio Emanuele (2735m) www.rifugiovittorioemanuele.com/page/PhotoGallery.aspx?La…, the signpost says 2hr15m, though we did stop for lunch for an hour. We arrived at the refuge in good time so spent 3 hrs taking in the sun on the deck.
The Gran Paradiso (4061m), is a beautful 4000m peak, apart from the last few metres the “normal route” is relatively straight forward. We were climbing late in the season. The normal route is too icy at this time of year so we had to take an alternative. It adds about an hour and entails climbing a fairly crevassed glacier and scrambling over interminable rocks for several hours. Dubbed the “stupid rocks” after an exclamation from a German who arrived back at the refuge just after us. An apt description in the circumstances.
We rose at 3.45am, breakfasted of bread and jam washed down with a jug of tea or coffee. Left the hut at 4.30am and gained the summit at 10.00am. On the guide books estimated time, in fact we overtook some parties. Mainly because the altitude has little effect on Lady Collum. There was a fair faff on the summit but in fact we kept moving throughout. Lady Collum did suggest that gaining the rocky summit via the exposed rock climb would not be necessary but Christophe had other ideas!
Descending the still frozen snow was fine but the “stupid rocks” were very hard going. We regained the refuge at about 2.45pm where we spent 45 min resting, sorting out our kit and having a bit to eat. We then had to continue the toe crunching descent to the minibus which we reached at almost 6pm. Though talking to Lady Collum her toes were fine, it was only mine that were sore!
Day 5 was a rest day, as was day 6 thanks to a logistical issue.
We decided to have a go at Mt Blanc du Tacul, in fact this mountain is the first of the “trois monts” the second easiest route up Mt Blanc, safer than the Voie Normal but longer. So we would get a close up of Mt Blanc and a good feel for the mountain. We would need to stay in the Refuge des Cosmiques (3613m), this would entail desending “the ridge” again, this time the weather was much better, we went part way up to Pointe Lachenal but backed off because of ice. In the end we approached the refuge via the Arete a Laurence, an interesting little scramble! The next morning we set off from the hut at 6am, we were the only ones leaving at this time which meant for a few hours we had the mountain to ourselves! The valleys where wrapped in cloud (and rain) but we had clear skies and a brisk cold wind. 3 hours to the top (700m of ascent) and then another 200m up to the Midi to finish.
Video of the arete on day 7 here, it’s mostly scrambling but there are some climbing moves too. The hardest of which Christophe demonstrates towards the end of the video.
And of the ascent of Mt Blanc du Tacul here
Here is a video of the ridge that leads down from the Aiguille du Midi. If you are of a nervous disposition don’t watch it
Nick Miles is Lady Collum’s personal trainer, he runs a company called Urban Fit , when Lady Collum told Nick she was interested in a trip to the high mountains of the Alps he put her in contact with me (Gareth Jefferies) an experienced hill walking guide who has lived near Chamonix for 12 years, I also doubled as taxi driver / interpreter / personal shopper and general liaison. For the days above the summer snow-line we took Christophe Rezette our experienced and qualified Mountain Guide, born just over the hill from Chamonix in Sixt-fer-a-Cheval.