French Alps in September – which resorts are open?

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  • French Alps in September – which resorts are open?
  • skroob
    Member

    Hi. I’m off to Lake Annecy with my wife and toddler on Saturday, and will be taking the bike along too. I’ve been looking at all of the ski resorts nearby to see where I could get some mountain biking done, but most of the lifts seem to have closed for the summer. I’m after some advice on where to go if anyone can help? The potential options I’ve found so far are as follows:

    1) Les Gets – the lifts are open until this Sunday (8th), so could have a day there.
    2) Les Arcs – get the funicular from Bourg Saint Maurice, although I can’t find any information to say it will still be running whilst we’re there.
    3) La Clusaz – again, not sure if the lifts will be open.

    I’m happy to explore on my own, although equally happy to go with a group/guide. I’ll maybe get a couple of full days in the mountains proper, and then a couple of hours in the afternoons around Lake Annecy.

    Any advice would be really appreciated.

    lucien
    Member

    My experience is that most lifts close the 1st week Sept – Switzerland has trains that take bikes so might be better off looking there? Or going down the catered chalet route and doing vehicle uplifts?

    Have you tried Metabief – small, but worth a day or so? Or the bike park at Lac Blanc, just down the road a bit.

    The other possibility are the 2 bike parks just inside Germany (Willingen and Winterburg from memory).

    robarnold
    Member

    Funicular will be shut in from BSM to 1600 but you can get the bus up or drive yourself. Once at 1600 the world is your oyster, endless singletrack all very pedalable right round to the Ponthurin valley and back. Just buy an IGN map from the inter sport at the bottom of the hill and go explore!

    Annecy to BSM is about an hour and a half sticking to the limits plus another 20 minutes up the hill

    Grum p
    Member

    Lots of places still open, have a wee google for Les Saisies, Chamonix, la Saleve and Chatel, all open till 15th or later and fairly close to Annecy. Portes du mont blanc and a fair bit of portes du soliel is open till 8th. Pretty sure La Clusaz & Le Grand Bornand are closed by then, but fire “remontees mecaniques ouverture ete” plus whatever ski station you can think of into google and you’ll get an answer. Maybe not the answer you want, but an answer none the less…

    skroob
    Member

    Thanks all, that’s been a massive help. In hindsight I’ve not put enough planning into this upfront, but we booked this last minute and I wrongly assumed that most lifts would still be open in September. I’m hoping to use this first (summer) venture to the Alps as a tester, and then next year have a better idea of where and when to go.

    lucien – thanks for the recommendations, that will assist me for next time.
    robarnold – that’s great advice, and I really wanted to try Les Arcs out after reading about the singletrack there.
    Grum p – I’ll spend some time today checking out your recommendations and the timing, thanks.

    ianv
    Member

    La grand bornand is crap, don’t bother ever!

    For late season, the pyranees are better than the alps. Vallnord is open to the 15th, grand valira the 30th and la Molina the 15th sept. Excellent weather still as well. No good for a day trip from annecy, but for future reference!

    skroob
    Member

    Thanks ianv, what’s your opinion on La Clusaz? My current thinking is to go up there for the last day of the season on Sunday (we get to lake Annecy early tomorrow morning after an overnight drive, so won’t go mad). Only the Beauregard gondola is open, which gives access to the Ferriaz downhill run.
    Then later in the week, I’ll probably venture over to Les Arcs and do some exploring (without the luxury of an uplift).
    I’ll keep your suggestions in mind for the future – whilst I can avoid going in the school summer holidays I’ll do so, although next year maybe going before they start would be a better option.

    ianv
    Member

    The downhill at la clusaz is pretty good and ther is some xc around the plateau. It’s a decent option considering the limited choice at this time of year.

    skroob
    Member

    Great. I’ll try the dh then, and I’m more than happy to go xc exploring.

    ianv
    Member

    Forgot to say, bring some spare innertubes, the track is pretty rough and not groomed bike park.

    skroob
    Member

    Thanks ianv, I’ve stuck a few in plus some heavier duty rubber (got Racing Ralphs on at the moment, and they might be a bit lightweight).

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