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    Tour du Grand Combin

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    Fenêtre de Durand

    The imposing Grand Combin may be somewhat overshadowed by the Mont Blanc, but its circumnavigation by mountain bike is one of the best multi-day tours in the Alps. The program for the three days includes classics such as the Fenêtre Durand, the Col Malatra and the Grand Col Ferret. The tour is a kind of superlative in terms of trails and scenery.

    The ideal starting point for the Tour du Grand Combin is Martigny. Start by train to Le Châble and then by post bus to Mauvoisin, from where your own muscle power comes into play. Climb up to the dam, then follow the road along the lake towards the Cabane de Chanrion, but keep right up to the Fenêtre Durand. Here you have to push your bike about 550 meters up to the saddle into the Aosta Valley. This would be the first mountain prize, followed by the technical descent down to Alp Thoules. From here the whole thing becomes faster, more flowy, a short ascent is also included until Ru de By is reached. One follows this water course until the first-class trail descent to Étroubles begins. Ideally the first stage ends here.

    From Étroubles the long ascent to Col Malatra is announced. This leads on small roads to the ski lift station at Arp du Jeu, then on a gravel road up to Tsa de Merdeux. Now the 650-meter hike to Col Malatra is on the agenda, which in the final section leads in high alpine character through rocky terrain to the saddle. A good 1700 meters in altitude have been accumulated in this way since the start in Étroubles. The reward is the great descent down into Val Ferret with a direct view of the Grandes Jorasses and Mont Blanc. The Rifugio Bonatti, the perfect destination for the second day, is also located directly on the downhill run.

    The final stage back to Martigny begins with the trail on the Balcon de Ferret and the subsequent ascent up to the Grand Col Ferret. From the Rifugio Elena the bike has to be pushed a good 500 meters up to the pass. From the Grand Ferret Pass you change to the small Ferret Pass (Petit Col Ferret), because from here the descent back to Switzerland is longer and more attractive. It leads down to La Fouly and then in a mix of trails and small roads through the Val Ferret to Orsières. Ideally, you should take the train here to get back to Martigny, because the return trip would be primarily on the busy main road.

    (Martigny – Le Châble –) Mauvoisin – Fenêtre de Durand – Balme de Bal – Prochère – Arp de Praz – Étroubles – St-Léronard – Arp du Jeu – Col de Malatra – Arp Nouva – Rifugio Elena – Grand Col Ferret – Petit Col Ferret – La Fouly – Praz-de-Fort – Orsières {–Martigny)
    Route details
    99 km
    difference in altitude uphill: 
    4015 m
    difference in altitude downhill: 
    4960 m
    Highest point: 
    904 M.ü.M.
    Lowest point: 
    2914 M.ü.M.
    3 Tage
    Point of departure: 
    Point of arrival: 
    nicht tauglich für E-Mountainbikes
    Route classification
    Technical skills: 
    Overall impression: 
    Best season: 
    More infos
    Le Châble – Mauvoisin