Category Archives: Trail conditions

Already?

Valloire, Seventh August, Coupe du France round five.

Not been much activity here for a bit, there’s been some races (Les Orres and Valloire Coupe du France Enduro, the latter’ll do for the photos), some riding of trails I’ve already written about and an injured wrist, but mostly I’ve lost my psyche for writing.

You can tell I’ve lost my psyche because I’m using words like psyche. I’d hate ‘psyche’ even more than ‘bants’ if it wasn’t for the racist/sexist/homophobic connotations you get with banter, but it’s still high up in my list of words wot I don’t like.

Other things I don’t like? Lift closing dates, so … [Read full post]

Encore une fois, Lift openings 2015

A brief image interlude. remember summer?

It’s great that bikes have pedals for, like, pedalling and stuff, but we’d rather sit on our arses and let something else do the work. Preferably whilst belching CO2, cos that’s more like a 2 stroke crosser, and we all just wish we could ride motocross don’t we.

So, opening dates for Chamonix lifts, and the surrounding area. Boom, voila and here you go (and a bit of music to listen to whilst you read):

Chamonix (usual CdMB caveats apply)

Bellevue: 13th June – 27th September

Le Tour: 13th June – 20th September

Flegere: 13th June – … [Read full post]

Verbier. Open for business

Shot possibly used in umpteen bike magazines over the years.....

Miss us?

Winter has been. Maybe not quite gone, but certainly been. Spring is here with her promises of skiing in the morning and biking in the afternoon. Of course it rarely works quite that perfectly, but it’s still been good to get either a good ski and a short ride, or a short ski and a good ride in. Tuesday was the latter, a short ski in the morning followed by loading up the car with Spencer and Nina for the first road trip of the year. To……………

Verbier. But then you probably guessed that, what with the blog … [Read full post]

A night at the opera

When you resort to riding on your own. At night. With some snow. You should probably accept it's time to quit for a bit.

The fat lady is singing and Chamonix Bike Blog is getting put to bed for the winter.

Granted it’s still not proper winter in the valley, but it’s near enough so the bike’s been cleaned and put away for a while. Words and pictures will probably start to re-appear February or March(ish) with some sunny warm dusty trail riding. Or mud. Check out Lorne Cameron ski blog if you want to see what most of the fictional characters on here get up to during the winter.

Merry christmas, bonne fete, happy hogmanay and aa that.

[Read full post]

The last big weekend of the summer

Shredding the orange pow. That sounds wrong.

End of summer? Ok so it might be the end of meteorological autumn, but outside it’s double digit temperatures, with a warm drying wind rolling over from the south, so for us lot, it feels more like the end of summer.

And what do we do in summer? Ride bikes.

The Loriaz chalet loop is one of the first of the higher trails we ride each year, it’s altitude and aspect ensuring snow free trails that bit sooner than other points around the valley. That and the only way up is under your own steam, so there’s no point putting … [Read full post]

‘Effing excellent

Spence seemed to enjoy his first time.

You might not have noticed, but there’s a wee bit of a referendum happening in Scotland next week. It seems that Westminster hadn’t noticed either as over the last 7 days there’s been a sudden realisation that folks north of the border might just go vote for independence, and for reasons other than watching Braveheart too many times. Cue a love bombing campaign of Scotland. Promises that we won’t take you for granted, we won’t ignore you, it’ll be different this time, trust us, we’re politicians…

But this isn’t a political blog, so what’s with the intro? Well, I worry … [Read full post]

The end is nigh. Repent.

The weather has, at times, been a bit biblical recently. Given Mount Ararat is 5137m high even Mont Blanc at 4810 ain’t going to save us. All we can do is head out in the rain and enjoy the biking whilst we still can.

The Chamonix trails, being generally steep and rocky, deal with the rain fairly well and drain pretty quick. Only Les Houches turns into a true quagmire and even there it’s possible to avoid the worst of it (which is generally the last 1/3 of the DH trail and all of the old DH trails from the … [Read full post]

Bikes on a train, and other forms of mechanical uplift.

Today I am mostly liking green

Lifts are open, no more pretending that pedalling uphill is worthy and good.

An opening party was being held at Le Tour with demo bikes, drinks and rumours of new trails, so we headed in the opposite direction to Les Houches.

It seemed a fairly popular choice and it was surprising to see just how much the main DH track wore in over the course of the day.

Not having big bikes in addition to our normal bikes with their mere 160mm of travel, slack angles and huge brakes, Lorne & I rode a few laps of the Prarion front … [Read full post]

New term, new toys

It's like a boy band, but worse

The skiing might not be over for everyone, but most of us have put the planks away now and are looking at pinkbike instead of TGR, or endurotribe instead of skipass depending on your nationality…

Of course, new season means everyone has spent their money on new toys and group rides are a smorgasbord of shiny bits. 650b, pikes, BOS, 1xwhatever and wider still bars. Ruaridh hasn’t had any upgrades (unless that’s a new collar), but still seemed to be the quickest up the hill.

With no bike lifts running in town, a quick lunchtime ride meant pedalling up the … [Read full post]

What, where, when. 2014 lift openings

Spring, because there's flowers and snow in the same shot

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of mountain biking (Tennyson was a keen early mtber, award yourself 10 smug points if you got the reference), lift accessed mountain biking at that, but where?

Well here’s a list of when Chamonix’s lifts open (probably, subject to usual CdMB changes) and some other options for nearby if that’s too long to wait.

Le Tour: 14th June

Flegere: 14th June

Brevent/Planpraz: 14th June

Prarion: 14th June

Bellevue: 14th June

Tramway du Mont Blanc: 14th June

Grand Montets: 28th June

Vallorcine: 28th[Read full post]