If you’re the organised sort that like to have their summer holidays sorted out before spring has even sprung then this’ll be of interest to you. The classic Alpine mountain biking experience that is the Pass’Portes du Soleil will be opening registrations at www.passportesdusoleil.com at 9am on the 15th of February.
Although there are 6,000 places in total, last year 2,000 of those went within the first hour, so you’ll need to be quick to guarantee a place.
The event itself is taking place on the 29th, 30th of June and the 1st of July from nine resorts in the region; Avoriaz, Châtel, Les Gets, Montriond-Les Lindarets and Morzine on the French side; Champéry, Les Crosets, Morgins and Torgon on the Swiss side.
If you’re smart about it you can start from one of the smaller resorts to guarantee hassle-free queueing and traffic free singletrack.
There are going to be new options on the 80 km long route but you still get a rather tidy 6000m of descent for just 1,000m of self propelled climbing, the rest being done by the extensive lift system. To keep you going on the way there are eight food stops serving local specialties – we eat too much cheese and ham every single year we do it – and the atmosphere always is friendly and fun.
For 2012 there’s also going to be a MTB race held in Morzine along with the extensive demo area where visitors can look at, fondle and test-ride bikes from a wide number of brands. Seeing as a number of companies choose the Pass’Portes to launch their new bike ranges, you can probably get a go on a 2013 bike shortly after the press have been on it too…
It’s still a bargain too – registration for the event costs just €45 for the day and includes your race plate, lift access for the day, a road book with info on the route plus details of alternative routes, a wristband that gets you all the food you can eat – plus a lift pass voucher valid for another day biking or skiing in the Portes du Soleil.
You can also make it a family affair; the Pass’Portes is open to everyone from 15 years old, and there’s the Pass’Portes Kids for 9 to 14 year olds, a shorter ride guided by MCF instructors and departing from Morzine’s MTB Show.
For more information, head to www.passportesdusoleil.com
Here’s a smidgen of video from the Pass’Portes and the Lapierre Bikes launch last year…