Best place to go AM (trail) riding in the Alps

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  • Best place to go AM (trail) riding in the Alps
  • paul123
    Member

    Looking at heading over there this summer and wondered what people thought the best place was.

    We don’t have downhill bikes but do want to ride some natural stuff (up and down) as well as bike park kind of riding i.e.groomed fun and jumpy trails, ideally with some lift access as well.

    Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Nothing to compare it to but Verbier. Heaven.

    Rickos
    Member

    As with coogan, White Room sounds just up your street. They do back country weeks too with a bit more adventure and a bit more climbing if you fancy riding some out of the way trails.

    ianv
    Member

    If you don’t want to go with a company the beaufortaine valley is worth a look. 2 smallish bike parks, the best being les Saises, but the bigger draw is the free or cheap bus shuttles that go round the whole area and the waymarked enduro trails that are up to 29 km long. You can ride from les saisies to albeville and get a bus back for 5 euros. The off piste stuff will be as good as the stuff in les arcs but obviously you need to find it or get someone to show you.

    Rushes off to google the beaufortaine valley………………….

    Premier Icon neil853
    Subscriber

    I’d love to do the more back country stuff but the lads I go away with are all about the Ski Lifts 😳 don’t get me wrong I enjoy them too but there would be good to ride stuff that isn’t full of braking bumps, basically a motorway and a bit more out of the way….

    trailaddiction.com do the beaufortin – spot x.

    jhw
    Member

    Chamonix, Chamonix, Chamonix!

    Or verbier if you stay with Bike Verbier

    Chamonix is good.
    Epic scencery
    a few small bike parks
    plenty of lifts and trains to get you around.
    and some of the rowdiest trails this side of the Atlantic 😯

    ianv
    Member

    http://www.bigbike-magazine.com/station-vtt/areches-beaufort

    Good start point if you can read french.


    003 by ianvincent, on Flickr

    Another area worth looking at (though not the alps) is the Cardagne/Capacir valleys in the Pyranees. Good bike parks (les Angles/La Molina) very good all mountain riding and pretty much assured good weather.

    jhw
    Member

    Good use of rowdy!

    wl
    Member

    +1 for Verbier. Masses of natural singletrack, plus a modest but growing bike park with some great runs, nice jumps and interesting features, but hardly any people. Bike Verbier are the people to contact – otherwise you’ll definitely miss all the best riding since much of it is away from the resort and accessed with their van and trailer.

    paul123
    Member

    Cheers.

    I’d got it in my head that Verbier and morzine were more focussed on downhill.

    gsp1984
    Member

    We’re heading across for the Passportes du soliel event this year… take a look at the website. You may well decide that would be a good place to start your holiday like we did.

    scruff
    Member

    Verbier has downhill riding opposed to Morzine which has DH riding.

    Milkie
    Member

    +1 for White Room!

    We went near the end of the season (backcountry week) and it was great! Great singletrack and natural trails, great food, great everything! I was on a 100mm hardtail and just managed 😉

    Here’s some of my video’s to wet your appetite.
    [video]http://vimeo.com/31575455[/video]

    [video]http://vimeo.com/30876530[/video]

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RveXNUVppZE[/video]

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrO753Ki55o[/video]

    makkag
    Member

    Milkie – sweet videos mate – this looks awesome – was going to book Les Get area in july again as i am taking three guys who had never done the alps before, as i can limit any mishaps wider traikls etc – would your feelings be this would be a little to much for them .. They have made their way round some trail centres round here ok .. but my main worry is they all have 100mm HT’s and its unlikly they will spring for anything bigger

    or have a look at Bikevillage 11 years around Les Arcs/La Plagne/Beaufort and still find new trails every year

    mtbtomo
    Member

    +1 for Trail Addiction. Can cover the bike park stuff as well as back country stuff – both uplifted and a bit more pedally xc.

    They have so many guides and groups that you and friends can split and do different things if there’s a difference of ability or some want to ride pure DH and others more xc.

    Excellent!

    Milkie
    Member

    When we went, the last week, half of the people (inc us) hadn’t been riding in the Alps before. They should will be fine with the HT’s as long as they are in good condition and they themselves are bike fit, more for the battering rather than climbing. As its the end of the season they use vans to get you to near the top, then you pedal/push the extra 100-500m.

    I was trying to keep up with the front runners on 5″ full sussers because I’m stupid and took a bit of a battering for it. Bike didn’t have any problems and that took a lot of battering and a few crashes. Here’s the bike I was using:

    Kona Kula Deluxe
    Rockshox SIDs
    DT Swiss 5.1D rims
    Rear Highroller DH Tyre (Dual Ply is a must for a HT)
    Avid Juicy 7’s / 180mm Rotors

    All I did was put bigger discs on and a DH Dual Ply rear tyre. I came back with a tooth missing from my XTR chainring and scratches on my XTR rear mech cage, not bad at all in my eyes. Oh and can I also say us guys with the HT’s didn’t get any punctures, where as Stevo and a few others got quite a few, just incase they are reading this! 😉

    Give the white room an email, I’m pretty sure Stevo will say they will be fine, he’s just got himself a 140mm HT.

    Whiteroom sounds perfect for you and your mates, they can cater for different skill levels. We had a wide range of skill levels and everyone had a great week. 😉

    Might even see you there, as we are looking to book for the last week again. 😉

    check out issue 70 (just out). There’s a big article about beaufortain. (The area actually calls themselves Beaufort-Areches by the way. Its like calling “portes du soleil” Les Gets/Morzine)

    …..In summary, having guided there myself for 3 weeks this summer, I can tell you its “the next” Les Arcs……..which itself for a long time has been widely accepted as the “all-mountain-lovers Morzine”

    I guarantee that 5 years from now, most of you will have either heard of Beaufort (quite a lot), know someone that’s been (and raved about it) or have actually been yourself and want to go back again!

    Ten years ago when I first guided for trailAddiction, no-one had heard of Les Arcs then either…..word seems to take quite a while to properly get out for some reaason I don’t fully understand. MOre fresh trails for those that keep their ear to the ground I guess! (If reading Singletrack magazine can be classed as cunning insider knowledge of superb, fresh, barely-ridden trails).

    geetee1972
    Member

    Verbier and with Bike Verbier.

    I’ve been riding mountian bike for 25 years, I’ve ridden in California, Tahoe, Porte Du Soleil, Wales, Scotland, the Lakes, Chamonix etc etc and Verbier was just the most amazing riding I’ve ever done.

    Yes it has a bike park and DH runs, but like someone said above, it’s downhill riding, not DH riding. The trails that Bike Verbier know are just utterly amazing and their whole approach to providing a complete holiday package is second to know.

    Pricey though.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Slight threadjack, but has anyone on here done both a backcountry and classic singletrack week with the White Room? Looking like we’re doing one or the other next year and trying to decide which. Obviously backcountry has more climbing but that’s OK if the quality of riding justifies it.

    jedi
    Member

    chamonix 🙂
    never managed to get to verbier

    geetee1972
    Member

    Jedi – I used to think Chamonix was amazng, but honestly, since I rode in Verbier this summer, Chamonix seems just a bit pants really.

    I think the natural, now illegal, run down La Flegere is still one of the best descents I’ve ever done, but it is now illegal.

    jedi
    Member

    the terms of riding there have always been the same

    Premier Icon ash
    Subscriber

    the terms of riding there have always been the same

    That’s incorrect. There was an “arret municipale” for Chamonix Valley a *few* years ago (don’t remember exactly when).

    Anyway, to answer the original question… HERE’S what you’ve been waiting for: ARECHES-BEAUFORT (“Beaufortain”). Trails to die for. As Freeride Addict says, check it out in the latest issue of Singletrack.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7GYMaR0Khk[/video]

    ianv
    Member

    Places I thought to be as good or better than Les Arc this summer were:
    Alps: Beaufortain, Ubaye valley, Orciere, Montgenevre/Alpi bike resorts, Deux alpes/alp d’huez. Tignes was also good, more downhill orientated BUT free lifts 😀 .
    Pyranees: Cardagne/Capacir, Andorra
    Vosges: the riding around st marie les mines is awesome, no lifts though 😥

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    the terms of riding there have always been the same

    changing yearly IME. The map at the tourist office always has some detail / allowed route that’s different.

    Also, Cham’s only OK if you’re megafit. I was out of shape when I went in 2009 and it was awful. Back in form last year and it was fab.

    Premier Icon Stu_N
    Subscriber

    Morzine/Les Gets is (comparatively) limited for the “off-piste” stuff.

    BikeVillage are ace. Been twice, will return. The quality of the singletrack they know is exceptional. (White Room operate in the same area and sensible people speak highly of them.)

    Samoens is ace, if you are prepared to take some road climb hurt on the Joux Plan side, even “in season”. Plenty of lift assisted greatness on the Samoens 1600/ Morillon side, but the best trails are on the Joux Plan side. We had an amazing week there at the end of October – saw no-one and trails super-buff. No lifts, loads of climbing but the shizzle when it came to descents. Tourist Office MTB map + IGN 25k map + legs and imagination will go far.

    That said, we are going Beaufortain next year for sure.

    commencal
    Member

    Beaufort is great, good trails if you want a friendly quiet area with great riding. Enduro type trails are top class, bike parks are small, but there are two and good quality (not too worn out) .

    Lots of XC too.

    The local bike guide from tourist office shows lots of routes, and there is a good shuttle service.

    It’s also not far from Les Arcs (1hr), Chamonix (90 mins). So makes for a good base to explore further afield.

    It’s a much cheaper place to stay than the big resorts and much more chilled out. Not much nightlife, just a few quiet bars.

    We stayed here : http://www.chalet-les-vernets.co.uk/

    Worked out about £100 each for the week (self catering, self guided).

    Premier Icon Gravy
    Subscriber

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hng9jy648mM
    Pleisure.co.uk
    One of the best value holidays on a bike great food, great accom, great people and fantastic trails around the three valleys with some free guiding.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    +1 for white room and riding the whole valley not just Les Arcs.

    We did Classic Singletrack and some bits that I think might be on the back country week. (we stayed longer into one of their rare quiet weeks) We pedaled pushed and carried a bit but in proportion to the amount of riding it was nothing to worry about. So long as you are fit it’s fine.

    Couple that with cunning use of the Van (not just tied to lifts) it made the rides work really well.

    In 8 days of riding we did 5/6 different areas all different but good. I found Les Arcs to be possibly less inspiring that some of the other areas.
    Shameless vid inclusion
    2 Longer days of riding not just lifted trails
    [video]http://vimeo.com/44791598[/video]
    [video]http://vimeo.com/44634547[/video]
    Local Trails in St Foy
    [video]http://vimeo.com/45116906[/video]
    La Thuile
    [video]http://vimeo.com/44510421[/video]

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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