Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 53 total)
  • Alps Virgin, Where’s best?
  • Premier Icon doomanic
    Full Member

    Thinking of heading to the Alps next summer and wondering where’s best for a first timer?

    We’ve ridden Golfie, Yair, Dirt Farm and BPW blacks. We’re not wheels on the ground riders but we’re not huge senders either.

    Premier Icon saynotoslomo
    Free Member

    I’ve never been biking in any other resort but I’d recommend Morzine to anyone

    It’s an amazing place and the Portes du Soleil lift pass covers a huge area. Honestly think you could go for a week long holiday and not ride the same trail twice, especially if you start exploring some of the unofficial/more natural trails (which can make golfie look pretty flat!)

    Also a pretty great spread of bike friendly accommodation, pubs and restaurants

    I’m sure there’s cheaper resorts but Morzine ticks all the boxes in my eyes

    Premier Icon Akers
    Full Member

    Depends what you’re after. If you want to self guide and enjoy bike park style riding, then Morzine is hard to beat. There is more natural off piste stuff but you have to find it. MTB Beds offer great Morzine packages.
    If you want something with more varied riding, and guiding, then something like a week with Whiteroom MTB based in Bourg St Maurice is a great solution, especially as you ride 4-5 areas over the course of a week.

    Premier Icon Ambrose
    Full Member

    Same as above.

    We’ve been out loads of times but and keep thinking of other places to go to but nowhere else seems to offer the same density and intensity of every type of trail. There are hundreds of km of trails to ride, from full on Alpine epics with hike a bike to stupid silly DH extreme and everything in between.

    Morzine sits at the head of an alpine valley and is surrounded by mountains all of which have trails dropping back to town from the extensive chair lift system that surrounds the placeand helps to link it to all the oter local centres.

    We tend to stay out of town; Les Gets suits us well. It’s a bit quieter and a bit more chilled. The DH World Cup is in Les Gets again this year, I hope that they can keep up with me, I really don’t want them to slow me down 😉

    We drive out, a dull journey that livens up in the Jura when the roads just go bonkers mega.

    Flying is faster, but not much I reckon when you factor in all the packing, arriving early, shuttles etc.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Don’t underestimate the value of guides! They’re basically holiday multipliers, you spend more time riding, less time lost, less time on crap trails and more time on exactly the stuff you want to ride. Not to mention that having things like meals provided is another thing less to get in the way of the holiday.

    So on that note I can totally recommend White Room and Bikevillage, both close together near Les Arcs but offering a slightly different experience- White Room generally a bit more full on and very ride focussed, Bikevillage generally a bit more chilled and IME with a bit more focus on the non-bike parts. I’ve been out 3 times with White Room, and going back to Bikevillage for a second time this year, love them both. I guess I do prefer White Room marginally but both great and I’d happily jump on a plane to either tomorrow. There’s months of good riding within a sensible drive and they make great use of it, in and out of resorts.

    Haven’t been to Morzine though.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    Another vote for White Room. Excellent guiding, frankly more trails than you could ever want, groups built around riding ability (be honest about your ability too else you’ll end up on some pretty full on stuff) and great food and accommodation. Hard to beat.

    Not done Bikevillage but heard equally excellent things about them.

    Premier Icon fathomer
    Full Member

    I’ve only been to the Alps once with White Room, so good I’m going again on Saturday 🙂

    Northwind, Akers & tuboflard sum them up really well. Though we (me & the wife) thought it was really chilled but I guess this depends on who else is in the house the week you’re there.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    Another vote for Bikevillage.
    Sam knows the area like the back of his hand and also knows how to organise things so it all seems effortless.
    The food is great too.

    Premier Icon richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Slight hijack, anybody got any recommendations for accommodation in morzine, Les gets. Either websites to look at or specific places.

    Looking at options for a family holiday next year. Two adults and a seven year old, so preferably some sort of apartment/chalet with a couple of bedrooms.

    Apart from riding (for me) is there enough to keep a family entertained for a week or two!?

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    Apart from riding (for me) is there enough to keep a family entertained for a week or two!?

    In Morzine there’s plenty. A swimming pool in town and the awesome aquariaz in avoriaz, skate park, ice skating, go ape, tennis, spa, horse riding, rivers and lakes as well as accessible riding for all levels. Get the multipass for cheap or free entry.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Full Member

    Looking at options for a family holiday next year. Two adults and a seven year old, so preferably some sort of apartment/chalet with a couple of bedrooms

    Used Alptitude for many trips over the years. Great prices and good accomodation

    https://alptitude.com/properties/

    Premier Icon agentdagnamit
    Free Member

    Morzine doesn’t have that epic Alps feel for me, more of a hilly area with views to bigger mountains. Obviously ‘hilly’ is relative!

    If you want a big bike park experience, with some off piste trails, then it’s probably for you . Ideal if you don’t want a guide or to put in hours of research – all perfectly understandable.

    If you want to ride those nadgery footpaths, ridgeline trails and descents from glaciers and bigger peaks that you’ve seen in magazines, then other areas will give you that . Even some other bike parks .

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Full Member

    Bit left of field but don’t rule out Finale. Not in the Alps but some fantastic riding.

    Premier Icon hungrymonkey
    Free Member

    Another +1 for BikeVillage. Been multiple times, wouldn’t necessarily call it chilled, have done some bonkers rides with Sam and Olli! They’re flexible, so guess it depends who you’re with etc. V little bike park stuff with them, which I appreciate. In all the times I’ve been, I don’t think I’ve ever ridden Black 8, for eg, which suits me!

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Full Member

    If you want to ride those nadgery footpaths, ridgeline trails and descents from glaciers and bigger peaks that you’ve seen in magazines

    There’s loads of that in the PDS, you just have to know where to go, away from the bike park runs

    Premier Icon agentdagnamit
    Free Member

    There’s loads of that in the PDS

    I’m yet to be convinced. Certainly not compared with areas like Chamonix, Crans Montana, Zermatt, Stelvio etc. But those are logistically harder places to go, so not as suitable for a first trip with no guide admittedly.

    Dont get me wrong, I’d happily ride in the PdS for a week, it’s just there’s way better places for the type of riding I like.

    Premier Icon tourismo
    Full Member

    Just back from a week with Bike Village and it was was as excellent as ever, great riding, guiding and food. Will be back out next year if I can.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Bit left of field but don’t rule out Finale. Not in the Alps but some fantastic riding.

    True, but not in summer Shirley?

    Unless you’re a salamander.

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Full Member

    We went to Finale in the summer of 2015. Never again. Everytime after has been late September to tie in with the EWS.
    Saying that it’s mid 30s at Lake Garda at the moment, it’s not stopping us hitting the trails

    Premier Icon rsl1
    Free Member

    What do you actually want? Whiteroom is a very specific type of riding imo – rarely “flow” type riding but instead full on steep tech interspersed with switchbacks with wheels on the ground most of the week (caveat – I did the enduro week before the lifts opened which may not be representative). I want to go to morzine next time to see the other end of the scale.

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    I’m just starting my last day in the PDS area (Chatel). Lots of people have said it already, but you will struggle to find somewhere that will cater for as many varieties of riding. Yes it’s not as high as some resorts, but there are plenty of out of the way Ridge lines to ride. I ne er knew there were so many trails that came back down into Abondance!! I’m lucky as one of the group loves to look at maps and overlay with strava heat maps, so although we’re getting full days in, some times we only use 2-3 lifts!

    Premier Icon mudfish
    Full Member

    I like Chamonix. Good lifts and range of trails. Tom at Zero G (Cham bike shop) did a useful guide book. I actually prefer the nearby Les Houches and the ride over to St.Gervais. Back via the Mont Blanc cog railway or valley train. There’s a lot of trails in the Chamonix valley – the Vallorcine descent from the top of LaTour is good too.
    Not been for a while but it’s worth looking into maybe. We rent a small chalet. Cham is very British settled.
    Morzine and Les Gets are within driving range.

    Premier Icon Akers
    Full Member

    Whiteroom is a very specific type of riding imo – rarely “flow” type riding but instead full on steep tech interspersed with switchbacks with wheels on the ground most of the week (caveat – I did the enduro week before the lifts opened which may not be representative).

    If you go during the lift season, there is a much wider selection of trails available, with plenty of park/flow trails to ride on days in Les Arc and Tignes.

    Premier Icon Marin
    Free Member

    Ridden with White Room a few times always good. Curve ball how about something like Mont Blanc Enduro, I did it with Ben Jones it was epic, really saw a lot of the Alps and family hotels every night think it’s endless trails now who do it not very bike parky at all.

    Premier Icon bikenski
    Free Member

    I like Chamonix. Good lifts and range of trails. Tom at Zero G (Cham bike shop) did a useful guide book. I actually prefer the nearby Les Houches and the ride over to St.Gervais. Back via the Mont Blanc cog railway or valley train. There’s a lot of trails in the Chamonix valley – the Vallorcine descent from the top of LaTour is good too.
    Not been for a while but it’s worth looking into maybe. We rent a small chalet. Cham is very British settled.

    I wouldn’t describe Chamonix as having ‘good lifts’. There are really just four lifts for bikes (Les Houches chairlift and Vallorcine bubble which are currently open and then (not open this summer) (the Le Tour bubble and then chair lift) with a 30 minute drive between Les Houches and Le Tour. And then there’s the fight to get on the train back from St Gervais if there are more than 6 bikers wanting to get on…and a 1 hour wait for the next train (been there, done that!). Yes, some fantastic natural singletrack but logistically a bit of a faff for a first-time Alps rider. Though I’m sure a lot of that faff would be removed if you had a guided trip there.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Full Member

    What do you actually want?

    We like flow and steep tech and want a bit of each, probably starting with the flow before moving on to the steep tech. Finances dictate that we’ll almost certainly self guide.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    I’d still probably pick Bourg Saint-Maurice for next year so long as the funicular is back open then (can’t remember if it is or not). Also depends if you’re self driving or have a car as it’s helpful to be able to drive up to Tignes or over to La Thuile for day trips.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    We avoid moraine like the plague. For too busy and too many life queues. Les arcs and tinges/val disere are great. We love alp d’Huez as there is a bike park at the top and then loads of enduro trails in the woods dropping all the way down to the valley floor.  Going to try samoens in a few weeks which is sorted to be more step natural tech

    Premier Icon mrmo
    Free Member

    Are you taking the E-Bike? As no one has mentioned it, Verbier has fairly extensive charging points around the area and along with lifts, bike park etc.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Full Member

    Good point. Yes, the current plan is to take the KSLs although I’m looking for a reason to buy a Status.

    Premier Icon Grump
    Free Member

    I wouldn’t describe Chamonix as having ‘good lifts’. There are really just four lifts for bikes (Les Houches chairlift and Vallorcine bubble which are currently open and then (not open this summer) (the Le Tour bubble and then chair lift) with a 30 minute drive between Les Houches and Le Tour. And then there’s the fight to get on the train back from St Gervais if there are more than 6 bikers wanting to get on…and a 1 hour wait for the next train (been there, done that!). Yes, some fantastic natural singletrack but logistically a bit of a faff for a first-time Alps rider. Though I’m sure a lot of that faff would be removed if you had a guided trip there.

    Hmm, I’m not sure I’d agree with Chamonix only having 4 lifts…

    I rode all of the bike legal lifts on the Chamonix Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass in a mid August day a few years ago. All 14 of them, 124km of riding, 10,000m of descending. http://www.chamonixbikeblog.com/2018/all-the-lifts/

    I’d agree it’s more complex than Morzine, and not a family friendly resort for biking, but theres plenty of good riding and a lot of lifts to ride, even during the Bike Ban months of July and August there’s Balme (Vallorcine and Le Tour) Grands Montets, Brevent for a lap after 16.00 and the lifts at Les Houches. And the train which can be 1000m of uplift.

    But for an alps first timer, yeah, Morzine. Or if cash is less of an issue and you really like the Golfie trails, Verbier.

    Premier Icon bikenski
    Free Member

    Hmm, I’m not sure I’d agree with Chamonix only having 4 lifts…

    I rode all of the bike legal lifts on the Chamonix Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass in a mid August day a few years ago.

    I was referring to the Chamonix lifts rather than the wider Mont blanc unlimited lift pass and quoting from your own article (from 2018, which is the last summer that I lived there, so maybe things have changed since then):

    “Grands Montets, Flegere and Brevent are all closed to bikes this summer (well, Brevent isn’t, but you can only go up from 1615 and there’s just 1 way down, so we’re treating it as closed) so it’s a fast pedal through the valley to Les Houches and Prarion.”

    I had forgotten about Bellevue lift in Les Houches, so that makes it 5 lifts, unless Grands Montets, Flegere and Brevent have since opened up for bikes. But even so, the lift system is definitely not good.

    Back to the OP question, for an Alps first-timer, I would suggest Morzine for ease and huge number of trails, or Les Arcs for fewer lift queues, fewer braking bumps and fun ‘off piste’ trails

    Premier Icon superfli
    Free Member

    Les Arcs is great for a good mix of trails and staying in BSM makes it easy for travel and also choice of accommodation. As long as funicular is open. Its also great as a central location for a number of other resorts, and one of those with a huge amount of trails plus lift access is Meribel. I’m a big fan of this place since going there a couple of times whilst staying in BSM. There are lots of lifts open, and shed load of trails, ranging from DH trails, to very long and fast epics to bike park flow. They seem to have spent a little more time and effort over the recent years on this resort whereas Les Arcs, majority of the trails are pretty ancient (still good mind!).
    If you have a car, BSM is a really good base. Get your self Trail Forks subscription and plan some epic days 🙂 Oh, BTW, I get the feeling that the resorts try and out do each other with the amount of trails they advertise, as some can be fireroad/access road carp – we got caught out on some in Meribel (read the trailforks comments to help).

    Premier Icon Grump
    Free Member

    I had forgotten about Bellevue lift in Les Houches, so that makes it 5 lifts, unless Grands Montets, Flegere and Brevent have since opened up for bikes. But even so, the lift system is definitely not good.

    Yup, Grands Montets is open again for bikes, as is Brevent (Plan Praz technically, the upper lift is only open in for bikes in June, September and depending on the year October and November), so during July and August it’s just Flegere that’s not, and this season the 2 front face lifts at Le tour whilst the new lift is built, but the Vallorcine lift still is, so 6 if you include the Tramway du Mont Blanc which is part of the Les Houches 3 lifts.

    My point wasn’t very well made, but when folk say “Morzine” they don’t mean the 3 lifts that make up Morzine, they mean the wider Portes du Soleil area, and it’s the same for Chamonix. There’s a fixation with the lifts straight out of town when the lift pass covers a huge interconnected area of great trails.

    Les Arcs is good too, as in the wider Bourg St Maurice area that incorporates Les Arcs, like superfli says, definitely best with transport although depending on your budget, a guided trip with theinsideline/bikevillage etc could be better value as you’ll get shuttled about to the right place and not have to worry about lost time being lost trying to find the best trails.

    Premier Icon agentdagnamit
    Free Member

    Useful to know about the Le Tour lifts, I thought that might be the case given the work that had started last summer.

    Any chance of a decent trail being built off the new Plan Joran lift, I’m sure there has to be a better option than riding down the piste…?

    Premier Icon Grump
    Free Member

    @agentdagnamit Worth noting for Le Tour that it’s not just the front lifts that are closed but also the biking and walking trails that pass under the lift. The upside of this is that some extra bits of trail have been built over by Posettes so there’s now a trail to descend there to Le Tour village that’s legal through July and August. Which is nice.

    Plan Joran, it’d be good wouldn’t it! I’ve not had the chance to ride up there yet this year, so maybe there’s something now, but I’ve not heard of anything in the grapevine. I’ve had a look about for other options to descend in the past…. The piste is definitely the best way down those first hundred meters or so of vertical to get to the good trails 😀

    Premier Icon agentdagnamit
    Free Member

    Thanks Graham. Maybe we’ll drop by after all this year. Hopefully there’s no issue with the train.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    Can you still ride the bottom part of Lavancher bowl at Argentiere @Grump? This bit from what I am assuming is one of your articles?!

    https://m.pinkbike.com/photo/13870863/

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Thinking of heading to the Alps next summer and wondering where’s best for a first timer?

    Does it have to be the Alps? the best biking holidays I’ve ever had are with Basque MTB. Doug and his mob is always exceptional value.

    Basque MTB

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 53 total)

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