Best Alps destinations for natural/off-piste Singletrack (non-guided)

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  • Best Alps destinations for natural/off-piste Singletrack (non-guided)
  • Lar89
    Member

    Hello,

    We’re looking to plan our holiday this year, and I’m after your suggestions for the best Alps destinations for predominantly uplifted natural/off piste singletrack. We like to look at a map, identify a lift up and choose the steepest/wiggliest/most fun route back down, hopefully leading to another lift offering more of the same. We’re after an area that offers this kind of thing, and enough of it to keep us entertained for a week! Don’t mind the odd bit of park riding, but don’t want it to be the main event.

    We’d prefer not go guided due to cost and satisfaction (we’ve done a week with Whiteroom and it was excellent, but we prefer to do things ourselves and squeeze a bit more riding in a day).

    Previous trips to Chamonix have provided exactly what we’re after (here’s a video of last year’s trip if you’re interested) but we’re looking to find somewhere new.

    I thought this place would be filled with Alps discussions, but a search didn’t throw that much up, so fire away!

    Cheers,
    Lawrence

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    hmm my go to is the whiteroom for the reason that the stuff on the map is unreliable and not always good, couple that with getting a lift from places without lifts…

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Pds?
    Well mapped and guide books available. Lift pass gives access to 25ish lifts across the area for long days out.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    We have spent four weeks in Les Arcs, and will be going back this year for another two.

    It will be mixed up with lots of day trips elsewhere (La Thuile, Pila, Tignes, La Rosiere and hopefully some new destinations such as Les Saisies, La Clusaz).

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    PdS has some great off piste and its a huge area of connected lifts. You’ll probably have to do a bit of climbing and a bit of groomed trail to link it all up.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Yep, I would say the Les Arcs Valley is a great place and after doing solo trips I’m not sure if I could match the whiteroom on variety or price really. Maybe look at different weeks?

    Lar89
    Member

    How much natural stuff is there at PDS? We’ve stopped by that way once and the non-park stuff we rode clearly took a hammering, but we didn’t do much research so was to be expected I guess. I shall look into PDS in more detail – any hints or recommendations of good rides would be much appreciated!

    I don’t deny that guided holidays have their advantages, but I’ve enjoyed the holidays we’ve organised ourselves more. If you’re prepared to do your research you can get more riding in of the quality you want, and its more satisfying when you’ve done it all yourself. Also, I don’t want to pay for it! Each to their own though, and I’m not knocking guided holidays at all (as I said our trip with the Whiteroom was very good).

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    The problem with looking for off piste natural singletrack is like cheeky trail back home nobody wants to let you know where it is 🙂 especially when there are lift dwelling idiots around. If you want o find it you will normally need a local to make the most of it

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    PdS is fairly big and there is plenty of riding away from the hotspots. We bought a good guide book while we were over there and researched on the net. The locals might not want to share their trails but they can’t resist Strava-ing them.

    ir12daveor
    Member

    The only limit is your imagination!

    http://map.geo.admin.ch/

    More steep squiggly single track linked together by lifts than you can explore in a life time!

    shamus
    Member

    Areches Beaufort has also come up in research and conversations. Does anyone have and experience of riding here? I haven’t had chance to look into it but if a trail guide for the area doesn’t exist, are the trails easy to find? There looks to be a little bit of driving around between lift accessed areas, is it possible to link these up with little planning? Sorry for the hijack but it seemed the best place for it!

    paul123
    Member

    Wallop,

    We’re off to Les Arcs for the third time this year and fancy a days riding elsewhere. What is Tignes like. Quite fancy something different to LA so the bike park at Tignes seems appealing.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    paul have you tried St Foye, La Thuile and the Stuff off the Rosarie? Some needs a lift back/collection though. Tignes to St Foy was a great ride.

    Premier Icon John_Key
    Subscriber

    Beaufort is a great area. There is a bus which charges 4 euro to drop you and your bike at the top of the resort. The local information centre has very good maps of the trails and the town itself is a very nice spot and not as busy as Bourg St Maurice

    Here is one of the maps http://www.beaufortain-bike.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/plan-basse-def.pdf

    When I was there I saw various of the UK guiding vehicles dropping people off in the area and the local bus at 4 euro a trip is considerably better value that one of these all inclusives.

    Best track is the one from Las Saisies down to Albertville

    Premier Icon sheck
    Subscriber

    I don’t know it well enough to give you any specifics ( as was guided ) but you could Ride a few days out of Samoens on purely natural stuff but accessed by lifts. Some good stuff heading south from the top of the Joux Plane, some stuff on the Sixt side, a few runs into Samoens itself, and the option of some really big days over towards Flaine, via Les Carroz, although a couple of years ago this was only viable on Tuesdays and Saturdays as the bubble up out of Flaine doesn’t run every day

    robarnold
    Member

    I worked for BV in the Les Arcs/La Plagne valley. The area and sorrounding valleys is just so vast it would entertain you for a whole two month season without fail. From Bourg St Maurice base you’ve got LA/LP, La Ros & La Thuile, St Foy, Tignes/Val D, Cormet de Roseland, Côte D’Aime, Beaufortain, even over the back of La Plagne towards Courchevel.

    It’s massive and the local IGN maps are surprisingly accurate even showing the sneakiness of trails.

    The beauty of it is that if you stay in BSM, everything in the sorrounding valleys drops back in to it and if you finish off down in Moutiers or Albertville you just get the train back.

    I may be biased as I lived there but it gets my vote

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @wallop – we rode La Saisses as the warm up day for a TA – Dest X holiday, it’s ok not worth a big detour to ride there IMO. We did some natural rides off the top of la Saisses (you get the bus up from the village at bottom of bike park lifts to the “far peak”), but these drop down into another valley and we did an uplift/bus back I don’t recall. La Clusaz I’ve been researching for the summer.

    OP You can ride a decent amount in/around Verbier with some research and add that to Zermatt for a couple of days. In the summer Cham/Verbier are an hours drive apart. As above Bourg St M probably offers the most diverse playground for what you’re looking for.

    inchhighj
    Member

    Heading over to the Alps for 2 weeks in July and will be hooking up with some friends in PDS for a bit DHillin yo, but we will be trucking it as well and plan to hit up Cham and Verbier with the 160mm bikes. Ive been all over the Alps boarding but only really Morzine biking a few times and I’m not really convinced about about the offpiste/natural singletrack available.

    Its amazing for the DH stuff at Pre La Joux and rooty off piste rooty ruts off Super but I just didn’t find any of the natural trails challenging/exciting TBH, Maybe I missed out?

    Can you take your bike on the Aiguille in the restricted season to the Mid station and to the OP do you have any names of trails in your video or ones you’d recommend must do’s? My friend and I are confident/fit (and mental) enough to hit up mostly any trail/run.

    I remember being in awe of one of Von Draussens films on Vimeo a year or two ago from Verbier/Zermatt and wondered how easily achievable it would be to find these trails on our own….?

    http://vimeo.com/35127146 or I suppose if anyone has done em…Plain du Morte, Brasilian…etc

    There is a package that guides em which I suspect has something to do with the producer of the video, called http://www.inspiredmountainbikeadventures.com/ but not gonna spend that kinda money!

    This is basically what we’re after for a few days at least too so hope this thread throws up some ideas or more tips.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @inchhi – search on here for Les Gets Samoens, you need a taxi back from Samoens or arrange to leave a car there but it’s a good ride. There is a back way from Les Gets to Morzine via Mont Caly and Col Ecrenanz. Of course you cannot compare the off piste riding in Chamonix and Verbier with PdS but there are a few decent rides away from the bike park stuff.

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