Tag Archives: Le Tour

Unintended consequences/Chamonix Bike Ban

Chamonix's most photogenic corner. No can do in July and August.
Why the Chamonix Bike Ban doesn't really make much difference to summer biking in Chamonix.

Yeah, but what’s the best descent in Chamonix……

Picture this: Another one of Chamonix's top trails, it just didn't make the cut though...
What are ten of the best mountain bike descents in Chamonix? Well it might be these....

The longest day

1km vertical of singletrack

Summer solstice. The longest day, shortest night and start of the countdown to winter. Also an excuse (if an excuse was ever needed) to both go in to the hills to do stuff and go out on the town.

After some warm up laps around Les Houches (trails all riding nice, bit of rain would be good to give some more grip though) we headed up the Bellevue gondola and climbed round towards the Col du Mont Lachet.

The trail down from the col is fairly exposed in places, but I think it’s pretty fun. Not everyone else, or possibly … [Read full post]

Last chance to ride ___________

Robbie getting distracted by the view

Normally “where shall we ride today?” is a tricky question, but for the last week it’s been a bit easier to get an answer.”We’ll ride wherever the lifts are about to close”. So that’s Brevent, Flegere and Le Tour, in that order.

An alternative answer has also been “I’m not going out in that, it’s snowing”. Which is true, winter made its first appearance of the autumn resulting in a fair bit of snow down to 1700m or so and some purty looking north faces once the clouds finally lifted. It didn’t do the biking communities enthusiasm to ride any … [Read full post]

3.10 is the magic number

Ridgeline. Putting the "pic" in Epic

And why is it the magic number? Because that’s when the last tram leaves Le Fayet for Bellevue, but I’m getting ahead of myself, back to the start.

Every spring I start with the intention of riding all 10 bike friendly lifts on the Chamonix lift pass in a day, and every autumn arrives without me having done so. It’s a trickier challenge to complete than it first appears as the window to get it done is pretty small. Most of the good riding from the lifts is on trails off limits during the July & August bike ban, and … [Read full post]

Awesome. Le Tour and more.

See that trail, that'll be the way down. Aye, awesome.

I like tea me. There are few things in life better than a cup of tea, but even better are those 10% of cups of tea that just push up to the next level of tea. Awesome.

I like riding bikes me. There are few things…. And this ride was one of those 10%. It’s not as if the average ever drops that low about here, but that combination of some of the best of a good crop of trails, perfect weather, dry ground but only a couple days after a good soaking and a bunch of mates to share … [Read full post]

To the ends of the valley

But why be picky when you have trails like this

OK, it can get a bit insular here in Chamonix. The steep valley walls cut off any sight of the outside world and, as long as you’re only paying attention to mountain sports, then everything you want is on your doorstep.  It’s a bit of a change to look out of the valley occasional and be reminded that the outside world exists, but to do it twice in less than a week, madness.

To cut a long intro short, the bike ban’s started, so most natural trails are now out of bounds thanks to Arrête Municipale (n° 124/2004) which prohibits … [Read full post]

Time gentlemen, please

It’s been raining, some of the trees in the valley have started to yellow and town’s filling with ultra-runners, it can only mean one thing: the summer’s coming to an end, and the lifts shut down till the snow comes.

The Chamonix lift closures are staggered across the next 2 months:

VALLORCINE: 2nd Sept

PRARION: 2nd Sept

BREVENT CABLECAR: 2nd Sept

LE TOUR GONDOLA & CHAIRLIFT: 9th Sept

GRANDS MONTETS: 9th Sept

PLANPRAZ GONDOLA: 16th Sept (then Oct 27th to Nov 7th)

FLEGERE: 16th Sept

BELLEVUE: 23rd Sept

TRAMWAY … [Read full post]

Le VTT et les Vaches…

Whilst bikes seem to be getting discouraged in some areas of the valley, they’re looking more and more welcome up at Le Tour.  There’s some sort of link in the alps where the more suitable the terrain is for cows, the more bikes are welcomed.  After all, Morzine is known locally as the mountain for the cows.

As the trains aren’t running from Vallorcine this summer (more information here: http://www.thechamonixbikebook.com/news/2012-the-year-there-wasnt-a-train/ if you’ve not already heard)we had to wait for the Vallorcine gondola to finally open at the start of July before the full potential of Le Tour could be enjoyed … [Read full post]