Postcard of the Cormet de Roselend, 1968 m

Cormet de Roselend, 1968 m.
This is one of my favourite biker passes, not the highest altitude and the view at the summit marker is a good high mountain but not great. It's not the easiest to get to, it's not on a  road to anywhere but it's always a treat to ride, whether on a busy Sunday afternoon or late evening when you might have the road to yourself.

The Cormet de Roselend is part of one of the biker tour routes of Mt Blanc, 4810 m, so plenty of our Italian friends flashing by, out in groups for a day trip in this year's smart kit, hanging off on the hairpin bends and fuelled by strong coffee.

The south side ascent from Bourg St Maurice up the Vallée des Chapieux is relatively unimproved. It's a country road not a major highway; there are a number of slow speed tight hairpins that are quite a challenge for a biker.

The best views of Mt Blanc are best found by side trips away from the direct route. The locals all seek out the view from the Col du Pré, 1703 m, for their picnic, leaving the main route for the foreigners and their motor caravans. I found views of Mt Blanc with the air so clear it almost felt as though you could reach out and touch the snowy mountain.The colours are as they are: the camera never lies, nor does PhotoShop!

The descent on to Beaufort and Albertville is similarly rustic with a number of constricted hairpins, which would be great for practicing hanging off but there is usually too much traffic on four wheels.

No-one seems sure but Cormet seems to be local Beaufortain dialect meaning small col and may be from rough Latin, ie the diminutive of culm, culm-et.