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Portes Du Soleil and Chamonix: help plan a dream trip!

robertjrobertj Posts: 2
edited July 2009 in Routes
Portes Du Soleil and Chamonix.

I’m working out some details for trails in these two regions, and would be most appreciative of any advice from those who have been there or researched the area.

I just joined this forum after a recommendation from a fellow mtb'er over at, who suggested (I think correctly) that this site would be a great source of information on the alps region. I searched around a while tonight, and found some really good info here already, but not some of the specifics I'm looking for...hence the post.

My wife and I will be in the Portes Du Soleil region with a base in Morzine at the end of August, and Chamonix in the beginning of September. This should work out nicely with the close of lifts in the Portes Du Soleil region in September, and more trails opening up in Chamonix in September (from what I understand) with most lifts still open there until late September.

I’m bringing my solidly built Knolly Endorphin with me, and will be riding solo aside from hooking up with other riders while I’m there; my wife doesn’t ride, but loves mountain resort towns in the summer such as Whistler, where we have recently vacationed twice.

For Portes Du Soleil (5d):

The obvious plan is to do the passportes route: starting in Morzine (where we are staying) to Les Lindarets, to Chatel, to Morgins, to Champoussin, to Champery, to Avorias, to Morzine, to Les Gets, and back to Morzine.

I have some GPS data that says it’s something like 18000 ft of elevation gain/loss. How much elevation gain is actual climbing vs. lift? I read somewhere it is ~5000 ft of climbing, but unsure what route that was. Is that a good approximation of climbing for the big loop?

What is the Chatel to Torgon route like? Is it worth adding as another mini passportes option; i.e. Morzine, Les Lindarets, Chatel, Torgon, and back to Morzine (for example), or better just to tack it on to the big loop, and reserve the rest of the days zeroing in on specific resorts in the area?

I know once I get there, I will have much exploration available. What do you think will be the best/favorite downs for a solid all around technical rider, with a sturdy 5.5” travel bike with a Fox 36 Talas (I won’t be throwing down on the WC downhill courses, for example…;-)).

On to Chamonix (4d):

This area is very interesting as well, with natural narrow singletrack and bike park areas; I’ve been seeing some stunning pictures from this area!

From the Chamonix trail maps, I’ve been looking at the Le Brevent/Planpraz area, as well as L’Index/La Flegere, the lower Petit Balcon Sud, as well as Les Houches and Le Tour on opposite ends of the Chamonix area. Are any areas listed unavailable/closed in the first week of September?

Given a couple days of riding in the Chamonix area, what are the don’t miss/must rides?

I may try to tag on to a guided tour one day, perhaps with mbmb if possible.

If you got this far in the post, thanks for reading!
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