Trip to the Alps this summer…much advice please!

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  • Trip to the Alps this summer…much advice please!
  • Premier Icon greenstix7
    Subscriber

    Hi,
    It’s my 40th this year, want to do something good like go MTB’ing in the Alps, so where do i start planning?
    Would like some recommendations of places to stay, costs, where to go, what equipment etc to take, how to get there (driving vs plane etc)…
    All advice considered (promise)
    Cheers

    wl
    Member

    http://www.bikeverbier.com – absolutely knockout in every respect and perfect for a milestone birthday.

    porkypig
    Member

    powder and dust, based in verbier, i’ve been on quite a few european trips and would highly recommend these.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Morzine is a good place to start. Easy to find trails, something for everyone, and lots of other activities. We tend to rent a ski chalet (typically £400-£800) for the week, so dirt cheap if you have a few people in your party. We always drive, Morzine is one of the easiest to drive to. It allows to take loads of kit and not have to worry about it. Works out cheaper, too.

    Just ride the bike you ride here and take a few spares. There’s plenty of shops there but its around rec retail prices, so not too expensive but not CRC/superstar.

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Subscriber

    You wont go wrong with Bike Verbier

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    What sort of riding do you want to do? Saying you’re going to the alps is a little bit like saying you’re going to europe, there’s every sort of riding you could want but the advice will vary.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    For trail riding avoid morzine also the trails are some of the least weather proof and it can rain hard in the alps. Les arcs and surrounding areas are much more sidetrack and endless trails. Best ones we did are outside the main resort. Used whiteroom which was awesome great guiding and food. Access to some great trails by not being limited to the lift network. Vids in the vimeo link in my profile.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    +1 bikeverbier

    P9010121 by john_henry_mtb, on Flickr

    Also recommend; http://summitdown.com/

    Some dh action in the Chatel bike park;

    P1000083 by john_henry_mtb, on Flickr


    P1000093 by john_henry_mtb, on Flickr

    Or some xc riding on the Port`d Soliel routes;

    P1000148 by john_henry_mtb, on Flickr

    Premier Icon giantjason
    Subscriber

    If you just want to go and ride with no worries of planning and navigating a route then someone like Bike Verbier will provide a great weeks entertainment and riding.

    Went with them a few years ago and it was the best MTB holiday i have been on for organisation, food and accomodation.

    You can take a FS or HT, although the full sus will be more fun.

    I would also suggest flying and getting the company to pick you up and drop you off at the airport. This way you dont have a days drive to do at the end of your holiday.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    There was some Italian resort on an Atherton vid recently, looked absolutely fantastic.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Would highly recommend TrailAddiction in Les Arcs or Rivierabike in Molini di Triora (Italian side of the Alps). They will both tailor their guiding to trails you will enjoy and be comfortable with difficulty wise. A lot of the trails in Les Arcs and Molini are like seeminlgy endless versions of the best trails in the UK, with the option for more full on DH. Plus the accomodation and food at the end of the day is superb.

    Unless you live in the South of England, driving is a loooooonnnnnnggg trek to the French Alps, but you can take loads more stuff.

    Main things to take – spare pads, rear mech hanger and any specific part for your bike. A spare rear mech isn’t a bad idea either so you don’t get raided full rrp or more in resort.

    chris36860
    Member

    Went last year with Bikealp in samoen. I can’t recommend them more. Amazing riding, amazing food. Steve is a fantastic guide who will cater for any level. Have just booked again for July. The trails are mostly natural and very quiet with the option to ride in Morzine if you want as its just ridge away.

    pitcherpro
    Member

    I think MSP is on about Finale Ligure .. thats where i want to go!

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Switzerland is very expensive – it was bad enough at 1.90 to the pound but at 1.50 basics even smart a little bit. If you go Lenzeheide offers some great riding – as does the Laax area.

    I have never ridden there but Grindlewald must be a little special with the Eiger as a backdrop.

    I would suggest you hit France just to save pennies – but again the pound is sinking a little at the moment. TBH all of the Alps are stunning … it doesn’t really matter where you go!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    [video]http://vimeo.com/45116906[/video]
    [video]http://vimeo.com/44510421[/video]
    [video]http://vimeo.com/44791598[/video]
    3 completely different days in 1 trip (outside of les arcs resort area)

    germolene
    Member

    I wen twith Trailaddiction last year and it was fantastic. fantastic weather, riding, food and company. I want to go this year but hated the flying , what with queueing up for everything on a tiny plane and once you factor in the easyjet flight at silly oclock and the waiting arouibnd for luggage and trasfer from Geneva to les Arcs I might as well driven and that is what i am looking it now.
    if you want to hook up let me know

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    For a special year (40th) do an epic. Tour De Mont Blanc is such an adventure. Truly unforgettable.

    I did it with MBMB ten years ago, there’s a choice these days…

    nasher
    Member

    pitcherpro – Member

    I think MSP is on about Finale Ligure .. thats where i want to go!

    Rivierabike ride close to Finale, or give Lou and Al at Just ride finale for finale ligure

    Spongebob
    Member

    Ive ten years experience visiting the following: Chamonix – Le Tour, Argentiere, Les Brevieres, Les Houches, Vallorcine, Mont Troc, Finhaut, Martigny, St Gervais, Megeve, Les Arcs/La Plagne, Villar Roger, Les Gets and Flaine.

    Get a Pierre et Vacances, or private chalet. Chamonix or Bourg Saint Maurice are excellent bases.

    Tape up your frame to protect the finish – cable cars get rammed with bikes and this is when your expensive bike will get ruined..

    Take plenty of spares as things will break and local bike shops really mug you, not to mention the lost time out for repairs.

    Respect the dangers of the mountain, make sure you are adequately insured and go carefully – helicopters are expensive (as my mate discovered).

    Find out which lifts are running and which days, before you plan an itinerary.

    Pay me to guide you for a week! 😉

    batfink
    Member

    Nothing to add, other than the fact that I’ve done two weekends in the alps…. and loved every minute! Felt like I got more descending time in a weekend than a whole year of my usual UK riding.

    There have been a bajillion threads on bike/kit selection, but my only advice is to upgrade/service your brakes!

    Premier Icon John_Key
    Subscriber

    @mikewsmith. Where is that final video filmed? Rosier, but could you give me the grid coords of where it starts? Looks great!

    Premier Icon greenstix7
    Subscriber

    Thanks so much everyone, looking for long trails i guess more than downhill. I’m riding a 575 so looking for some fun stuff. Would be good to more downs than ups though for a change.
    Will do more research but anything else you can think of, post it.
    What do the lifts cost? What kind of total budget should i think of, factoring fuel, tolls, food etc. I can cook so don’t mind taking food, or is it better to go full board, do you always have to tride with a guide?
    Thanks again

    scruff
    Member

    If you want a really enjoyable easy time where all you need to worry about is bleeding your brakes- go full board with guides, but it will cost you a bit more. The time spent not cooking or getting lost or riding round an empty town looking for somewhere to eat can be spent riding your bike down huge mountains or getting pissed. Your looking at a £grand all in. I know folk do 8 weeks for £3.50 sleeping in ditches and drivign down with 9 bikes in a fiat panda but its your 40th, spoil yourself.

    I’ve been to Switzerland, Austia and France, all great but you spend a bit more and get looked after better IME.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    John Kay

    It heads out behind the fort round the valley. Best done with a driver though.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    I’ve done guided and it is nice to have everything laid out for you, it does make it more of a holiday. We usually go unguided, though, as it suits our mixed group. Trails are generally easy to find and exploring is part of the fun for us. See a trail and head down it, as long as you are reasonably aware you can always end up at the lift. We tend to rent a big chalet so we can spread out a bit, sometimes cook, sometimes eat out. Good food is generally easy to find. Usually under £500 each if we don’t have too many beers out.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    I think MSP is on about Finale Ligure .. thats where i want to go!

    No the place I was trying to remember was Alpi bike resort. Looks less downhill orientated than Morzine, but still chalenging, just less steep and rocky. It featured towards the end of this video, from about 7:30 on.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elKbN-NrYQA[/video]

    http://www.alpibikeresort.com/index.aspx

    dewydd
    Member

    greenstix7 – Member
    Will do more research but anything else you can think of, post it.

    How about Chamonix to Zermatt with http://www.ridethealps.com/
    I wanted to do this for for my 40th a couple of years back but circumstances didn’t allow. Planning on doing it this year and I know they’re looking for riders for a trip provisionally set for 10th August

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Apart from the food wine beer and organisation along with guiding help and local knowledge the other advantage of guided is being able to finish at the other end of the valley and see a van and trailers magically appear while you enjoy a cold one. Some of the best rides last trip were not liftable and required point to point lifts some mid way through the day.

    wl
    Member

    Bike Verbier all the way. Unbelievable (and well off-the-beaten-track) riding catered to your tastes; no hassles; well organised; maximum time on bike; great grub; super-friendly guides, hosts and chef; superior accommodation; fantastic value for money. Dozens – if not hundreds – of very, very satisfied guests on this here forum. Still the original and best.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Did Morzine last year with Flow MTB.

    It’s not all DH – plenty of lift assisted XC (that’s what I called it anyway), although some of the XC can be pretty hard core (I survived on a hardtail, but a FS would really makes sense). They gave us maps (marked up, proper ones) and guides each morning with suggestions of things to try and places to go (plus I had a rough idea having skied there before a few times).

    Would definitely consider returning there.

    Done Slovenia DIY twice before that. Excellent hospitality, and cheap. Definitely going back there again at some point.

    justme
    Member

    went with trailaddiction last summer – they were excellent
    heard very good reports of italy also cant remember the company not very helpfull I know
    bike verbier seem to have loads of very satisfied customers
    did the mega a couple of years ago for my 50th very memorable way to do a birthday
    G

    Milkie
    Member

    I highly recommend The White Room! Guided, vans for uplifts! Great food, free wine and beer (all you can/dare to drink). Their website has loads of info on what to expect and what to take (spares, etc).

    This is the sorta stuff they do on the Singletrack weeks..
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcf9FXhd3YM[/video]

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    greenstix7 – Member

    Thanks so much everyone, looking for long trails i guess more than downhill. I’m riding a 575 so looking for some fun stuff. Would be good to more downs than ups though for a change

    That’s what I was looking for when we went to White Room- struck the motherlode. Can’t recommend it too highly tbh.

    cogwilder
    Member

    flowmtb +1

    although from this year their morzine operation is called ridemorzine, i dont know how that’s changed things…

    vickypea
    Member

    We camped at the foot of Alpe D’Huez last year and went mountain biking at Les Deux Alpes, which was great. There were loads of xc and DH trails in the area.

    b17
    Member

    another glowing recommendation for the White Room here – nothing but great food, guiding and trails! we like it so much we’ve been there summer and winter without fail for several years now.

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