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Well actually it was half of the lake, our half.  Consisting of four big climbs but now I have developed a climbing technique for these long drawn out climbs it’s not so bad.

I started out going back down to Savines de Lac, over the bridge and turn right up the climb to La Sauze du Lac that I did the other afternoon, this time nonstop and straight into descent into the Ubaye Valley

Descent from Sauze du Lac to Ubaye Valley

Descent from Sauze du Lac to Ubaye Valley 2

A few kilometres along the valley bottom including a tunnel which was totally dark with no lighting and a bend in it, tricky at first but I got accustomed to it and emerged safely the other end and fortunately no other traffic either.  I continued along the valet until I crossed a bridge and then joined the climb up to La Breole a long drag up of 6 – 8% on a major road but too busy.

View back across valley to Sauze du Lac

I stopped for some refreshment at the top and then the long descent down to Espinasses and through another tunnel, still no lights but short and straight.  At the foot of the valley, where I crossed the river, it was amazing how cold it felt as I passed over the water.  I then started the approach to the climb up to the dam of Lac Serre de Poncon.

It was very hot along the valley I saw temperatures of 38c and also heard the sounds of cicada’s chirping away in the pine trees for the first time this year.  First I came to the entrance to EDF electricity generating station and the the climb started.  It was quite daunting as it wound up and up through numerous hairpins and gradients of 10 & 12%.  It was good to reach the top without stopping as I remembered this climb up when we drove up in the car from previous years and it seemed very steep.  On reaching the top there were more photo opportunities and food and drink.

Climb up to Serre Poncon dam

Climb up to dam 2

View across to other side of valley,In the distance is part of the descent I made before crossing river and climbing to dam

Next was a short sharp descent before continuing the climb up to the Col Lebraut at 1110 metres.  Another tunnel had to be negotiated on the way up, about one kilometre long and dead straight and with lights ! it was lovely and cool in there, much appreciated at the time but on emerging the climb continued and someone had kindly painted the numbers of kilometres left on the road side and much appreciated was the ‘Bravo !’ painted at the summit.

Col Lebraut Summit

Col Lebraut greeting, Thanks !!

From then on it was descent pretty much all the way, a short climb up onto the main road at Chorges and then the run downhill back to base and welcome glass of water and a shower.

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