Tag Archives: Les Houches

The Escher trail

Am I riding uphill or downhill? Damn you optical illusions.
If you don't go, you won't know....but if you don't know, should you go? Hunting for the perfect trail out by Les Contamines.

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.

Moving pictures

Shooting some moving pictures and enjoying the prime December riding conditions 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....

St Gervais / So that was the first big crash of the summer

How's that for a berm with a background?

“starts Thursday as usual with a canteen quiz and again no-one wins the big cash prize” Means nothing to you? No, well, your loss.

It’s been hard to keep track of events recently. The constant state of flux between what’s in and out, who’s calling the shots, behind the scenes negotiations, false promises. The dust seems to be settling now though and it seems the state of play is this:

Brevent & Flegere. No playing on bikes, or at least no uplift for bikes, until the bike ban ends at the start of September.

Megeve, Les Contamines, St Gervais & … [Read full post]

Link up

There was a lot of spot the rider shots from today.

Want to know what the next big thing’s going to be in mountain biking? Look at other mountain sports; skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, fell running. Trail centres are a bike only thing? Snowboarding went crazy for snowparks in the mid 90’s. These newfangled “enduro” bikes that are fairly light up hill but a virtually DH bikes on the down? Skiing’s been doing the fat touring ski and DIN 16 touring binding for ages*. Big days out linking your favourite trails….

OK, so we’ve been doing that for a while too, but mountaineers got there first. With the concentration of hardcore climbers … [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 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]

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]

Last train to cold*

A balmy summers day ride, if you're from the north east.

Winter’s turned up again in Chamonix, only this time she’s brought her luggage and it looks like she’s staying for a while.

Normally the easiest way to escape her clutches is to head down the road to Saleve, only a quick glance at the website showed they’ve closed until the end of March for works. Valley trails under our own steam it is.

Down the valley and past Vaudagne the geography of the valley changes from the granite boulders and steep coniferous lined slopes around town to mellow slopes with deciduous trees and loamy ground, perfect for the icy conditions.… [Read full post]