Forum home Mountain biking forum Routes, rides and holidays Routes

Advice on Trails in French Alps

barnesy1977barnesy1977 Posts: 4
edited September 2011 in Routes
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping to do a few days off-roading, next year, in the French Alps. I'm not familiar with the Alps at all (never been there in sunshine or snow), but I can't seem to work out from websites what the setup is there in terms of MTB. What I mean is, is the only real practical way to do the trails, to do them through one of the many accompanied holiday/adventure groups ?

Reason I ask is that due to work committments I'm not able to commit to being a certain place at a certain time or duration on any of the days I'm there so I need to be completely flexible.

Is it possible to do this, or do I really need to go with one of the groups for reasons I don't know about (such as needing a van lift to the top, the need to know the routes, or safety etc) ?

I'm a competent rider used to riding on my own, and don't have any trouble with UK red or black graded trails.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks in anticipation :-)

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    If you want to hit some DH trails then you can mostly go alone, and just pay for the lift pass on a per-day basis. Most of the DH tracks are pretty straightforward to find (they generally start right at the top of the lifts).
    If you want to do some more exploring, or back country riding, then you may well be better off with a guide.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    If you want to hit some DH trails then you can mostly go alone, and just pay for the lift pass on a per-day basis. Most of the DH tracks are pretty straightforward to find (they generally start right at the top of the lifts).
    If you want to do some more exploring, or back country riding, then you may well be better off with a guide.

    I would agree with this :D

    There are always loads of people on the DH trails, but I wouldn't go further afield without a guide.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • jaysonjayson Posts: 4,606
    I very saddley got back from the austrian alps yesterday and the riding there really has to be seen and experienced its stunning.

    I got a cable car to the top of penken mountain at 2000m and rode down from there by myself, took me about 5 1/2 hrs or so. There are DH routes aplenty if your a nutter but even from the top there are a myriad of AM/XC trails you can explore solo or with a guide.

    Obviously the guides there will know more but half the fun for me is following my nose and seeing where it takes me for better or worse :wink: I did get lost abit but aslong as your goin down you cant really get properly lost.

    The only thing i would say is that the grading system there is a little different to here, according to the route i followed one day it was a medium grade level 3 trail but once i got goin it was way beyond anything on even a black trail ive experienced at home and im almost ashamed to say but i had to push it around some of the bigger stuff cause if you come off the bike some of the drops are so steep and long you wont stop until mother nature decides you've had enough so be carefull!!!

    I only experienced a tiny part of what the alps have to offer but it was enough know im certainly goin back again next year and im taking my own bike next time, i guarantee you will love it :D:D
  • Sorry to hijack but there was a section in mbuk last months am sure it was the french alps, les gets i think it was called 'pass ports du soleil' looked really really good 80k in a day looked like a well organised event. Reason being me and a pal thinking of going next year maybe do that event or go for wkd. Anyone any experience there, how the riding is, accomodation etc etc?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Les Gets or in fact the entire Portes du Soleil region is one of the most popular mountain biking spots in the Alps.
    If a mountain biker tells you they're ridden in the alps, then you can be almost certain they're talking about the Les Gets area.
  • Cheers yeehaamcgee for that, gonna do some research over next few weeks on when/where to go and all the essential info needed. Any valuable info would be well appreciated :lol:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    All you need to know is that the riding in the portes du soleil area is AWESOME! :D
    (snowboarding might be too, I'll let you know in March :wink::D )
  • Thanks guys - very useful! I'm getting excited at the thought of it lol!
  • Portes du Soleil looks fantastic - they have a great website too!

    One last thing I forgot to ask, is what times of the year could you reasonably expect to ride the trails there ? I know it will vary from year to year but just an indication would be great. Their website says that the 'summer lifts' there seem to be open from 24th June to 4th Sept, so I'm guessing it's probably between these dates ??

    Kind Regards
Sign In or Register to comment.