Tag Archives: valley trails

Melt. Freeze. Cycle.

Ah, the birds are singing, flowers poking through the grass. It must be spring, and so the bike has been dragged out of the cave it’s languished in for the last 4 months of winter and I’ve been back in the saddle.

Of course, this being the mountains, no sooner had the sun come out and the snow melted then it started to dump with snow in the valley and the big skis came back out of the locker again. This pattern will be set to continue for the next month or so, but at least it means we get … [Read full post]

Known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns

I grew up riding in Scotland and sometimes, just sometimes, I can really miss the riding there. Don’t get me wrong, Chamonix trails are ridiculously good, who wouldn’t want to be quickly whisked up 1000m to ride off on trails, almost every one looking and feeling like it’s from a movie, all in great weather. Or at least great if you’re Scottish.

But despite this, or perhaps because of this, I miss having to ride up singletrack roads, fire roads, push up muddy sheep tracks and, when all else fails, just sprachel straight up the hill with the bike all … [Read full post]

Telepherique des Glaciers. Uplift of a sort.

Jan’s starting to get a bit fed up. For a month now every time he’s been out he’s called last ride, cleaned his bike and put it away for the winter, only to be persuaded to get it covered in mud again the next weekend. Sure enough as we were packing the bikes away at La Saleve he was sure that was it for the autumn. Then I suggested we ride the trail down from ye olde abandonned “Telepherique des Glaciers“….

Just as well he did, I’d have gone up solo, but it’s much easier to take photos when there’s … [Read full post]

Mixed conditions

It’s not been a great few days on the bike, but what’s the saying, “a bad day on the bike is better than a good day in the office”? Something like that.

First off, Robbie, Lorne & I headed up to the Chalet du Glacier des Bossons for one of my favourite wee tracks in the valley which, for one reason and another, I’d not had a chance to ride this year.

Arriving at the top of the chairlift, having been enthusing about the descent all way up the road and firetrack climb, there was a “Danger” sign and a … [Read full post]


It’s inter-season now in Chamonix, which means as well as the lifts closing, the shops are starting to cut back their opening hours, and town empties as everyone heads off on holiday. Wanting to get a classic ride in before packing the bike up for my holidays, I thought the Loriaz chalets loop would do the job nicely.

It’s one of the absolute best non-lift accessed loops in and around Chamonix, but being a little out of the valley doesn’t see quite as much traffic as some of the other non-lift accessed loops.

Most years the train can make life … [Read full post]

2 shades of grey

There’s a few techniques used locally to deal with the bike ban. You can ignore it, you can give up on the mountain bike, you can stick to the man-made trails and you can go elsewhere. You can also have a look at the Arrete du Maire, try and find a loophole, and hope for the best.

The arrete lists 12 exceptions to the July & August bike ban, most of which are listed in the official Chamonix bike map (which you can also get a paper copy from the tourist info and bike shops around town) but there’s 2 … [Read full post]

Escape from the valley

The trails straight above Chamonix are amazing, but generally steep and tech, with roots and rocks abounding. After some pretty wet weather had passed through it seemed a better idea to ride some more flowing singletrack whilst the rocks and roots dried out. We headed down the valley past Vaudagne and out to Servoz to start the long road climb up to the Lac Vert car park. The views help take your mind off the legs and the promise of a rest at the fountain in the middle of the road at Le Mont keeps you going. Alas, the fountain … [Read full post]