My first Alps trip, advice for relative beginners please!

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  • My first Alps trip, advice for relative beginners please!
  • Hi guys. I have been saying for years I would love to go and do some lift assisted riding but never got round to it. I now have the opportunity to go with my girlfriend at some point this summer but I’ve got a whole host of questions and I thought where better to ask than the STW faithful.

    First up, my girlfriend hs been riding for a year and can comfortably ride blue/red trails in the uk. We have ridden the Forest of Dean together but our local loop is bedgebury forest. I know there are inconsistencies in trail grading across the UK but she really enjoys fast flowy single track but I don’t want to over face her and scare her with anything too steep or technical and we certainly are not looking for DH runs, jumps or drops! So, with that in mind my first question is- is it worth it? How many trails are there accessed by the lifts that are graded green/blue and are worth riding. We just want to enjoy some relaxed single track riding without the climbing and with beautiful scenery!

    The second question is the biggest. Where to go? Do we go to one of the big boys or are they too DH orientated than single track? We would like to go somewhere with good scenery and also with a few other things to do off the bikes if possible.

    Next up is when to go? When are the lifts open till and when is cheapest? (I presume the end of the season is cheapest?). Also is the weather a big factor?

    We both ride trail bikes. I have a new tallboy lt carbon and my girlfriend had an orange five but is now looking for something else. Are these suitable for the type of riding I described and is it worth the bother of taking our own bikes or are there adequate bikes to hire when we get there?

    I guess those are the main points. We might be interested in some guiding or coaching as well but we will leave that one out of the discussion for now or it might get a bit complicated. Sorry for all the questions but across the Internet it is very difficult to tell what the riding is really like and if it is suitable for Sophie and I to ride, or if a few weekends in Wales are more what we are looking for.

    Thanks to everyone in advance for sharing your opinions and experiences!


    Go to deux alpes, camp in Venosc. Loads of blues and some greens, little skills areas dotted round the hills, not that busy, no need for any guides, decent weather and great riding. Short commute to Alp d’huez as well for a bit of variety.


    Mmmm, I have never had much luck finding the ellusive xc singletrack in the Alps. I’m sure it does exist, but not sure how easy it would be to find without a guide.

    I would personally avoid the more dh focussed places like Morzine etc (and don’t go anywhere near Alpe d’Huez at Mega time!). Even the xc stuff there is pretty hairy….

    Can’t comment on your bike but I have ridden my 5 in the Alps on a number of ocassions and it’s fab!


    Went to the Les Arc/La Plagne area a couple of years back with Bike Village. Our group was split into 2 roughly, one half being experienced riders, comfortable on big British mountains, black runs, DH courses etc and the other half comfortable on UK red runs, but black being a bit of a push (at the time).

    The area had loads of trails to keep us all happy, and generally the stuff I did (I switched between both groups) was around the standard of a UK red but with a fair amount of exposure thrown in. Once you got your head around that not much of the stuff I did was too tricky.

    The bikes you both have will be fine. The guides at BV rode a mix of things from long travel hard tails to Orange 5s. We were riding a mix of stuff from 130mm hardtails to 160mm AM full sus bikes. It’s all good really 🙂
    If you guided, at least your first time then they’ll be able to guide the trails you ride and make you sure you dont do anything unsuitable 🙂

    Premier Icon nickjb

    We take beginners to morzine all the time. Three times they have bought bikes out there as they liked it so much. There is a lot of downhill and jumpy stuff but there are plenty of greens and other nice trails. There is also a heap of other stuff if you don’t ride every day. Alpine blues might be a bit much but the lift assistance gives you a bit more energy to tackle stuff


    Another option to consider. Garda has a fantastic mix of trails for all abilities.

    Bike wise, Orange Five is perfect for what you’ve described.


    Val d’Allos

    This place is good for singletrack riding, its a race video so the queues are long but you should get the idea! XC riding is pretty good as well.

    Quite far South but the area is beautiful. Not a lot to do other than riding and walking however, 30mins drive gets you to a lake and the verdon gorge in the south and whitewater rafting and other stuff to the North.

    One of my favourite areas of France

    Cheers for the advice guys. Have to say I have watched lots if videos and there seem to be a lot if nice blue runs in les duex alpes. And there seems to be a fair bit going on around the area. Certainly seems like trail bikes with a change if tyre would be fine, and there would be plenty for us to ride without getting out of our depths!

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