Les Arcs – anyone been mtb'ing there?

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  • Les Arcs – anyone been mtb'ing there?
  • joolsburger
    Member

    I've been several times. No idea how it compares to Morzine but it is fantastic, there is a downhill course in Arc 1600 which is great, bundles of singletrack and high alp riding from the bowl at arc 2000 (leading down to Borg St Maurice) if you head toward Vallandry/ Peisey Nancroix there is some excellent technical singletrack through the trees, there is shedloads of stuff. I thought the lifts were closed now though.

    If you do go have a meal in Peisey Nancroix at the l'ancolie it's unbelievably good.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    any good? – yes

    more downhill singletrack than Morzine, fewer 'DH' runs.

    it's quieter.

    it's a bit cheaper.

    an Orange 5 sounds about perfect.

    you can stay in Bourg st maurice and get the funicular train up to arc 1600 (or is it 1800?) – accomodation is cheaper in Bourg, and you'll have more to do in the evening.

    you don't need a guide, just talk to people and or look at an os map and follow the trails.

    there will be a few things you'll miss without a guide, but you'll find more than enough on your own for a weeks riding.

    it's ace!

    it's even got a park type area with northshore stuff, jumps, and an airbag…

    imnotamused
    Member

    Thinking of next year's holiday πŸ™‚

    coffeeking
    Member

    you can stay in Bourg st maurice and get the funicular train up to arc 1600 (or is it 1800?) – accomodation is cheaper in Bourg, and you'll have more to do in the evening.

    We found accomm cheaper in 1800 than in Bourg, but that did leave us needing to get from 16 to 18 each night which was a long ride if you missed the coach or didnt want your bike smashing about attached to the back of the coach!

    STATO
    Member

    Its AMAZING!

    The downhill course is class: with very few braking bumps, the singletrack is class, the tracks further up the mountain are class etc. etc.

    Really worth a trip if your into fast, technical and long descents/singletrack. Not so many 'DH tracks' but the one they do have really is very good fun. Its a short season tho and you really do need a guide, we were there 3 days on our trip and planned to just get a guide for the 2nd day, in the end we hired him for the 3rd too as the tracks we had been shown were so good we were left wanting more! Our group had everything from a 30lb remedy to a 48lb DH bike and everyone left with a massive smile. There are plenty out there with hardtails too.

    allthepies
    Member

    Took my Five there this summer, no probs (but I was more XC than DH πŸ™‚ ).

    Loads of trails with great runs from the resorts (1600, 1800, 2000) down to the valley floor. Then get the funicular train back up to 1600.

    Much prefered it to Morzine – as above quieter and doesn't turn to a mudbath if it rains.

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    I'd highly reccomend it, great riding but I reckon you do need a guide to get the best out of it unless your happy following trails on the map and finding/not finding a few dead ends and bad trails on your way to discovery. Trailaddiciton get very good reviews on here from several people including me, ace guiding accomodation etc.

    joolsburger
    Member

    It's a good idea to get a guide, there is enough riding to keep you busy for a week but a guide will be able to show you the hour long single track downhills that leave your arms feeling broken!!

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Trail Addiction and Bike Village both guide in that area.
    Miles of ace technical singletrack, much quieter than Morzine, bit more XC orientated but still loads of DH runs.

    STATO
    Member

    I think we sorted our guide through these guys.

    thecoolbus

    imnotamused
    Member

    Any good?

    How does it compare with Morzine?

    Am I likely to have fun with an Orange 5, body armour, a full face helmet and some mates?

    nodrog2
    Member

    If you are into epic technical singletrack descents then you'll love the place. Much quiter and more relaxed than Morzine/Les Gets area. The one proper DH track is pretty good but the area is generally more about singletrack than full on down hill.

    Trail addiction well worth going with if you want to ride all the cheeky stuff. You could easily just buy a map and go out and explore on your own though.

    Make sure you ride La Varda, a truely epic technical 40-50 min singletrack descent. Here's a teaser.

    http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=la+varda&init=quick#/video/video.php?v=648673870811&ref=mf

    GolfChick
    Member

    went for a week this year with trailaddiction and loved it so much im going for 2 months next year with my bf and a mate but we're doing it our own way this time.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Awesome riding in Les Arcs and in the whole Tarentaise Valley. Compared to Morzine/Portes du Soliel, there's 3 obvious differences:

    1. Fewer DH tracks, more epic-scale singletrack
    2. Better weather (I think I rode in the rain maybe 3 days this summer?)
    3. No mud. Ever. Period. Even if it's p*ssed down for a week (which pretty much never happens, see 2).

    We're based just across the valley in Sainte Foy, usually ride Les Arcs 1-2 days per week. Check out The White Room.

    An Orange 5 will be spot-on. I ride an Alpine personally, but Ash from Trail Addiction tells me he's just bought a 5! I'd ditch the body armor unless you're sessioning the DH course / Bike Park. Knee & elbow pads are plenty and you'll just get too hot.

    Les Arcs is brilliant. Been twice with TrailAddiction and hoping to go again next year.

    barrykellett
    Member


    nodrog2 – Member

    If you are into epic technical singletrack descents then you'll love the place. Much quiter and more relaxed than Morzine/Les Gets area. The one proper DH track is pretty good but the area is generally more about singletrack than full on down hill.

    Trail addiction well worth going with if you want to ride all the cheeky stuff. You could easily just buy a map and go out and explore on your own though.

    Make sure you ride La Varda, a truely epic technical 40-50 min singletrack descent. Here's a teaser.

    http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=la+varda&init=quick#/video/video.php?v=648673870811&ref=mf

    Are there many complete trails that are smooth like that?
    I wanted to go sometime, and the wife wants to go too, but she'd be out of her depth on steep technical stuff but would fly along that sort of smooth twisty trail

    joolsburger
    Member

    Last time (2008) 8 of us rented a chalet in Vallandry (very close to Arc 1800)and all in it was less than 400 for the week including flights and accom.

    There is a chair lift up to arc 2000 and the last run of the day back to the chalet was in the woods and is fantastic. Hire cars are pretty cheap from Geneva and I'd suggest that if your not staying in Borg (the main town in the valley below) and want some nightlife a car is pretty much essential.

    I've also driven it several times and it's around 8 hours from Calais.

    There is something very special about walking out of the back door getting on a bike and then doing a downhill for 40 minutes!!

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Are there many complete trails that are smooth like that?

    That particular trail leads to some of the gnarliest (and scariest – some of it is exposed to big cliffs!) riding you're ever likely to do!

    Like anywhere in the Alps, the Tarentaise is a big, steep-sided valley so trails going straight down are **** steep while trails contouring along the valley tend to have a very steep slope to the side. Equally, it's hard to find "easy" riding by UK standards unless you only want to ride fire-roads. With all that said, we ride with plenty of beginners and inexperienced riders and most of them have a great time. We take it easy and do plenty of coaching. Sainte Foy probably has more flowy, contour trails than Les Arcs but a decent guide should be able to find trails to suit any level. We're planning on running some "Alpine first-timers" weeks next year to suit people who want to build things up slowly!

    nodrog2
    Member

    barrykellett – there are plenty of smoother less technical trails to ride. Something for everyone really. Don't be fooled by the smooth appearance in that video clip though. That particular trail does indeed start off nice and smoothish and very flowy but about half way down turns into a pretty steep, tight switch back laiden rock fest πŸ™‚

    A group of 11 of us went this year comprising all abilities and both sexes. Everyone loved it and wants to go back. A few of the lads on DH rigs didn't get on with the more technical tight switch back trails though, triple clamps are just no good for them. As has been said above a 5-6 inch trail bike is ideal. A long travel HT would also be fine.

    Tonylem
    Member

    A group of 11 of us went this year comprising all abilities and both sexes. Everyone loved it and wants to go back.

    If I can find a job Gordon lol

    nodrog2
    Member

    We'll pay for you Tony. Call it guiding money πŸ™‚

    imnotamused
    Member

    Sounds amazing, I'm getting giddy already!

    RichPenny
    Member

    I went this year with Trail Addiction, and would highly recommend them. I think it was about Β£450 for the week, but having all your meals sorted is a big plus. The guiding was great, they run lots of different groups so can match trails to your skill level.

    The trails were generally harder than anything I'd ridden UK based, YMMV. As stated, it's the steepness that can do your head in, but you do acclimatise fairly quickly. I learnt more about riding in a week than I've done in 5 years in the UK….

    I've got an Orange 5, whether it's enough bike is dependant on your skill level really, but people were riding on Β£300 HT's so the 5 won't be the limiting factor.

    Trying to work out if I can do 2 weeks next year πŸ™‚

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    Mleh closed that valley down Steve.

    imnotamused
    Member

    RichPenny – If you've got 2 weeks spare surely you should be off to Whistler? I can only dream of such freedom!

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Mleh closed that valley down Steve.

    Wish they had, I made a complete ar$e of riding it last week! πŸ‘Ώ

    "Are there many complete trails that are smooth like that?"

    How about this one, also taken on a trailAddiction holiday this summer:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/trailaddiction.ltd/Summer2009BestPics#5372935392992677202
    This trail continues for about 30Km on virtually unbroken, donwhill singletrack….takes pretty much all afternoon to get down it!
    (Although this trail is not actually IN les arcs per se, as in not on the Les Arcs lift system. Like they say, the secret ones are often the best eh!)

    Trailaddiction run "beginners weeks" and have the benefit of 5 guides and 5 different guide groups. Leslie, the female guide normally has a group of girls / beginners out with her for most weeks of the summer.

    That said, on the whole, the riding in Les Arcs is an advanced level….but a good guide should be able to string together enough easy stuff for most standards.

    RichPenny
    Member

    I can't drive to Canada! Or really afford it….

    imnotamused
    Member

    Nice videos there πŸ™‚

    Any novice (1-2ft, maybe 3 on a good day, high) jumps there on the dh course for example?

    Gary_C
    Member

    IMHO,a fantastic area to holiday/ride in.Stayed at 'The Goat Shed' twice('06 & 07),with trailAddiction.
    Seriously thinking of going again in 2010.

    PS:The scenery isn't up to much,though…. πŸ˜‰

    RichPenny
    Member

    Everything on the DH course is rollable, get as much air as you want. The North Shore section, which is off to the side of the main course, has a bit of everything so a few 1-2ft jumps there, seesaws etc. Basically, you should go πŸ™‚

    imnotamused
    Member

    Blimey, sounds like nirvana. Anyone got anything bad to say about it?

    nickegg
    Member

    Having spent a week in the tarentaise valley on my Orange 5 (stayed with the White Room)a week or so ago i can tell you it was perfect for what we rode.

    It never felt out of it's depth but as said above the area is more epic singletrack than DH.

    Stevo – You better be ready for our return next year, i want some more "wee bit faffy" trails please!!. Looks like we'll be bringing friends too judging by the response our holiday got when i relayed it back to my bikeshop owning mate! Hope your getting a well earned break now.

    allthepies
    Member

    >I wanted to go sometime, and the wife wants to go too, but she'd be out of her depth on steep technical stuff but would fly along that sort of smooth twisty trail

    If you took the missus down La Varda then you'd be in the doghouse for about a month πŸ™‚

    nickegg
    Member

    My wife loved the riding we did and she isn't quite so keen on technical stuff as i am.

    She walked a few sections but also did stuff that surpised her….that weeks riding has had a huge impact on our perception of whats technical back home!

    Our guide was great and talked us through the really technical bits first, giving advice etc. I consider myself fairly capable on a bike but the riding there really opened my eyes!

    Kramer
    Member

    I heart the tarentaise.

    Bad points – bike hire isn't up to much. Everything else is amazing, I'll definitely be heading back next year.

    nickegg
    Member

    Kramer – I find it helps if you don't break your bike a week before a bike holiday πŸ˜€

    So you won't be hiring a Mondraker (or should i say Moonraker) or Kona?!

    imnotamused: I've never been to whistler but Ive talked for hours about it to people who HAVE been there. It does sound AMAZING but Im still not convinced if it really IS all that much better than some of the spots in europe. Quite clearly, they invest a lot more time and effort in decent trailbuilding over there (The man made stuff in Les Arcs is OK, but there still isnt a huge amount of it)
    But the 100s of Km of unmarked singletrack more than makes up for it. The likes of which Im am utterly convinced simply dont exist in north america….people haven't lived and walked in those hills for long enough for that amount of singletrack to have been created in the first place.

    Anyway, with regard to your question about jumps, there are plently of natural features like these…..having a good local guide really helps in finding them!

    try again with the link!

    titusrider
    Member

    Highly recommend trail addiction here too, ask for la varda and you will not dissapointed by how technical it is!

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