Passporte du Soleil – who else is doing it?

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  • Passporte du Soleil – who else is doing it?
  • ajc
    Member

    The best way to not get stuck in lift queues is to not start in Les Gets or Morzine, but i don’t think thats going to help you. The Torgons loop out the back of Chatel was fantastic last year but you may have to give it a miss if you are worried about not making it round.

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    I’m getting quite excited now about the P du S! Going out on the Friday until the Weds for some top riding, weather looking okay at the mo as well. Fingers crossed, this is my 6th year going to Morzine but my first doing the official PDS (done it on my own before).
    Anyone got any handy hints on how to complete the course and not get stuck 2 valleys away with some big road climbs ahead!!!???
    Who else is doing it? Where you staying? How long for?

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I’m going
    Driving down the Tuesday night before, going back the Monday after. One of our group has done it before, and he reckons being organized is the key.
    We’re camping in Morzine

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    Well we are supposed to be doing it in a group of maybe 10, however most of the blokes are doing it on the Saturday to fly around, mainly because the other 2 girls (not me) aren’t really DHilers and probably won’t make it round at all!! I want to make it round and my skills at DHing are way better than theirs and I know technically I can handle the trails. I have a funny feeling me and Mr MC may end up off on our own, as the girls won’t make it and the boys will stay will stay with them (being boyf’s) and since they’ve done it hte day before (we aren’t!!!).

    Oh and does anyone know about the freebie points on the chip lift pass? I know you get bonus points, does anyone know how many bonus points get you a free days lift pass? As we have 90 odd points each and wondered if that’ll get us a free day, as they haven’t told us each year. Yet last year a mate was told to use her points but we can’t remember how much you get. I know it’s a lot more in the winter say 300 instead of 90 … any helpers!!?

    Man I’m waffling now….getting tired!

    ajc
    Member

    You will be given a card for a free days lift pass anyway. Don’t know how many points you get. Don’t try and stick in too big a group as you are bound to get punctures or mechanicals and you could spend quite a bit of time hanging around. Last year the so called downhiller in our group was one of the slowest as there is quite a bit of climbing. Its a long way to push up all the hills. He was also crap on the downs but thats another story.

    I AM!!!!!!

    Tip 1: Get there an hour before the official start to get good position
    Tip 2: Go tubeless or go home! 6 off us last year clocked up over 140 hours riding in 3.5 days last year and no one had a puncture.
    Tip 3: take loads of brake pads
    Tip 4: Stick the widest and highest volume tyres you can get on your wheels!
    Tip 5: Enjoy every minute of it!

    I am so excited its daft!

    Yep, I’m in. Just got confirmation of name transfer on the entry (thanks WCA!)
    Do they use any of the downhill courses or is it all singletrack type trails? I was planning on just using an xc lid and knee pads.

    DrP
    Member

    Olderthandirt – howdy, and glad you’re on board!
    Think me and pete are wearing full facers, and andy is going xc lid, so you’ll not be the odd one out either way!

    DrP

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    First time here too.

    Starting from Morgins in Switzerland so hoping it’ll be quieter than from some of the bigger resorts.

    Not had much time to look forward to it yet, but suppose I better start soon as it’s less than a month away now.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    What times do the lifts open and close in the PdS region?

    Cabri
    Member

    Last year, we started from Morgins, no queue at all at the tourist office to pick up the packs just after 7am and only a handle of biker’s cars at that time, then away we went.

    Depends on how gnarly you want the tour to be. I’ve done it twice on my only bike (NRS) with my usual tyres and luckily have never punctured. Of course I didn’t do the real downhill sections but just had to go a bit more gently on the very stoney fireroad sections. I had my xc lid with no protecs, but then again I ain’t no kamikaze.

    We finished just after 6pm, if I can remember rightly after doing the full tour, we didn’t really linger around at the ravitos, where a bit of time can be spent.

    Year before, we left from Champery, again quiet for the departure but arrived “late” (a few minutes before it should have stopped)for the chair lift at Morgins for the return, the bloke at the depart tried to contact the bloke at the arrival to start up the lift, but no reply, I think he was already in the pub! So he directed us for the return to Champery, by a bit of road, path and then (long) main road up to the village, which was a few miles we could have done without.

    Too late this year to book, but a good day out, enjoy everybody.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Think me and pete are wearing full facers, and andy is going xc lid, so you’ll not be the odd one out either way!

    DrP

    Yep. My full-facer arrived yesterday with my elbow pads and huge wide handlebars. 🙂 So I’ll look like a gnarly downhiller, but ride like an XC jeyboy. I just don’t wanna crash and make myself look even uglier, TBH….
    😉

    That’s all my kit sorted now.

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    Full face all the way it’ll give you that extra bit of protection, never bother taking XC lid with me. I’m super excited as I love Morzine but just not done the official PDS before. Should be a good un, guessing me and Mr MC will potter off on our own then by the sounds of it! as I actually want to make it around.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I actually want to make it around.

    OK, talk to me about this…..
    The way you speak it seems that there is some doubt you’ll get round?
    As I understand it, it’s about 75k of going up on lifts, then riding back down, yes?
    Now, I don’t imagine it’ll be easy riding, not at all, but can it be any harder than a 100k enduro? What’s the time limit?
    😕

    DrP
    Member

    2 hours…
    Better get training!

    DrP

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    2 hours?
    75k Downhill?

    That’s 23.25mph average. Easy. I’ve seen how steep those slopes are. I’ll do it in one and a half…..
    😉

    Sounds like an early start is in order then. I really don’t like wearing a full facer if there’s any flat or uphill sections but maybe I’ll take it with me and make a decision on the day. I wont have a downhill bike so don’t expect to be ‘hooning’ on the downs. Saying that, I do suffer from ‘red mist syndrome’ sometimes when in the Alps!

    chunkypaul
    Member

    did it last year in a large group and recommend an early start

    the riding doesn’t justify a full face helmet tbh

    have fun overtaking the teams of fat euro xc riders in lyrca! 😉

    Premier Icon runswithscissors
    Subscriber

    No actual time limit i think but the lifts close at around 6ish so if you are later than that you may have a long ride back!

    BTW I have two places spare for a sunday start from morzine if anyone is interested?
    tlyons10@aol.com

    Premier Icon beanum
    Subscriber

    The only problem you might have getting round is if you have many mechanicals or hit big queues on the lifts. We always start in Champéry so by the time we hit Morzine / Les Gets it’s not too busy.
    There is some pedalling in certain sections but it’s not physically hard. For me the worst thing is the mental exhaustion from concentrating for so long.
    I can’t wait! 🙂

    geetee1972
    Member

    Done it a few times now – here’s what I learnt.
    Start early, i.e. within 30 mins of the lifts opening. This will give you loads of time to really enjoy the views and possibly do some detours.
    Don’t bother with the optional Chatel loop. It’s not that interesting, there is a monster push half way around and the time you save can be better spent elsewhere.
    Full face and spine guard are a very good idea.
    Run DH tubes and tyres or run tubeless but either way be prepared for punctures.
    A six inch bike will as quick if not quicker than an eight inch bike.
    Lifts close officially at 6pm, but the marshalls on track are very good at making sure no one gets stranded. One year they raced ahead to our last lift and kept it open to 6.30pm for us.
    It’s worth doing the Plenny a few times, also Les Get 1/Canyon while you’re there.
    Don’t underestimate the amount of pedalling. It is mostly downhill but there is still around 300m of climbing and it feels like more when it’s spread thinly over lots of km of trails.
    An adjustable seat post is a very good idea.
    The food on route is not much to write home about but at least there is plenty of it.
    The best bit is the run down into Chatel from the top of the Lindarets valley. The run back into Lindarets from the top of the Mossettes lift is also excellent.
    Just looking at the route for this year and it appears a little different to previous years. The Chatel – Torgon – Chatel loop looks longer. You’ve also got an option to the French national track down into Lindarets from Avoriaz; that’s a pretty hairy track!
    Make sure you pass lots of lycra clad Euro-weenies riding their £90 Halfords Specials.
    Have fun, it’s a great event.

    They give you the option of doing the French national course? Bl**dy hell, I hope theres some warning signs at the top. That is indeed a pretty hairy track.

    ajc
    Member

    The Torgon loop out the back of Chatel last year was different to previous and had the best section of forest single track you will find on any of the circuit but it does take quite a bit of time.You will need to be quite a quick rider to be confident you are going to get all the way back before last lift accounting for group members faffing. It is also the only section of the days ride that is not open at any other time. You can session the Pleny all week if you are that way inclined.

    All in all geetee has it pretty well covered.

    Premier Icon snowslave
    Subscriber

    V helpful for a first timer – nice one! So setting off from Morzine I should set off v early, and expect some lift queues. Does it get pretty crowded on the trails themselves whilst you’re riding? And how much can you rely on the nosh stations?

    runswithscissors – potentially interested in those tickets for someone if you’ve still got them. Sent you mail.

    ajc
    Member

    Last year they were building an easier smooth bermed section next to the main french national downhill, and i suspect that is what they will be sending you down. The main course is pretty nutty in places. Generally the trails are not crowded although there are a few pinch points. Food stations are great if you like ham and cheese. If you are a good rider and there is an option to take a more technical descent such as down to Champery then take it.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    So, what bikes is everybody taking then?

    Me = Pitch Pro, with shorter stem/wider bars, flatties, double and bash.
    I’ve got some spare chunkier wheels and the loan of some 2.5in double ply Maxxis tyres too….

    geetee1972
    Member

    AJC – I feel ROBBED! The Chatel Torgon loop I did last year was all fire road and massive push. We must have seriously missed something.

    geetee1972
    Member

    I’ve done it on a DH bike once and my Spesh Enduro every time since. The Enduro was so much more fun than the DH bike and I’m sure it was as quick if not quicker over most of the course.

    The guy that runs Riders Retreat did it on an Orange 224 with Fox 36s on last year and he said he had a hoot on it. He is quite a bit fitter though so probably coped with the pedally bits better.

    Premier Icon snowslave
    Subscriber

    I’m taking my Orange 5

    ajc
    Member

    geetee

    You must have missed the worlds smallest sign directing you to the single track. We did the first time and decided to get the lift back up and come round again and it was well worth it. It meant we did not get all the way to Les gets from Chatel but none of the group were fussed as we had all ridden that stuff hundreds of times before. We were advised by a friend who is a guide in Chatel not to miss out.

    Bike wise i have done the last 3 on my hustler with pikes, strong wheels and 2.5 supertacky up front with a 2.5 high roller in the back. I reckon its just about perfect for that kind of event although it is slightly underbiked for absolutely ragging the down hill courses.

    I’ll be taking my Orange 5 too. Its built up a bit more freeridey with bashgaurd, 2.35 tubeless ignitors, short stem etc.

    dasnut
    Member

    some of the road bits in switzerland are boring.
    you can do some downhill tracks instead, i think the swiss downhill track

    3rd year on the trot for me

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Great info above!

    I’m taking my Reign (with Fox 36 fork).

    Still undecided about tubeless 2.35in XC tyres or 2.5in DH tyres with DH tubes.

    Also will probably upgrade rotors all the way from 180mm/160mm to 203mm front and rear, since I have the adaptors and discs already.

    Probably going for my full-face lid, but not without misgivings.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    have fun overtaking the teams of fat euro xc riders in lyrca!

    Mostly I over took fat padded-up brits…go figure.

    Course doesn’t need a full face, but it’s a choice thing innit? Hope the weather’s nice.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Too late this year to book.

    I booked my place (starting from Morgins) just a few minutes ago.

    I realise you probably meant too late to organise the trip, but thought I’d point that out just in case!

    SammyC
    Member

    Hey Munqe-chick, I’m doing the PdS on the Sunday and was wondering if you and Mr MC mind if I tag along?!

    I did the small loop last year from Morzine as was with the Mrs and friend who are not all that confident, this year I’m down to do it on my own but would like some company. I am happy to talk about bikes, snowboarding, family, etc…

    Hopefully I’d not hold you up too much, but if I drop behind I am happy to be left behind!

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    (Mr M-C posting) its my 8th summer in Portes du soleil and I last did the organised ride when it was called the Freeraid (maybe 6 years ago?). Me n M-C then tried to re-trace the loop a year or 2 later, and I got confused between “my” loop and the signposted permanent (and slightly different) PdS loop. then the chatel chair shut for about 2 hours due to thunderstorms…

    I wouldnt dream of riding it without a full face. M-C did on her first year and came off on the les gets 4X and made a mess of her face (and more importantly the Smith glasses I’d lent her :wink:. Ive had a few big offs over the years (broke a foot, dislocated a shoulder, and a couple of concussions in separate years) and have slowly acquired kit to the extent I now own the Dainese Pro Shuttle one piece full body suit. Got my moneys worth last year when I came off one of the highest bits of woodwork in Chatel bike park…

    Along with the usual bits I’ll be carrying spare dropouts and jockey wheels (again the voice of bitter experience) and some cheapy but goody walkie talkies which are good for easing the worry after waiting for someone for what seems like too long.

    SammyC get in touch with MC nearer the time I’m sure we’ll make you welcome. And if you kick are arses we’ll both deny it on here 🙂

    SammyC
    Member

    Cheers for that Mr MC and MC, oh and you’ll be safe from me in the arse kicking department! 😀

    Skid-Mark
    Member

    I have done the event twice on a hard tail with SPD’s a XC lid. If you don’t ride outside your ability, you should be fine without elbow or knee pads in my view. Having a full sus bike is definitely an advantage, but by no means essential.

    Can’t wait. Starting from Morzine for the first time, so appreciate the suggestion of getting there nice and early. May see if we can swing a pink ticket away from home so that we can camp!

    Premier Icon snowslave
    Subscriber

    Has anyone got any pics?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 94 total)

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