DirtyGirlsRide does Les Gets
Once at the forefront of world class downhill mountain biking, Les Gets owes much of its popularity to hosting World Cup downhill races from 1996 - 2004. Along with its World Cup legacy, it is connected to the wider Portes Du Soliel area, which covers several hundred kms of lift assisted DH and XC trails on one pass. Being just a little over an hour from Geneva airport and well located near the boarders of Switzerland and Italy, Les Gets is certainly easily accessible with plenty to offer.
Les Gets Bike Park, also a Kona Bike Park, is split into 3 sections, Mont Chery, where the old world cup drag once was, Chavannes - the main run down into the village and the Nauchettes chairlift, which drops into a bowl on the back side of the Chavannes. The Mont Chery area is home to 2 official tracks - a very family friendly green graded run and a fairly tough black graded run. The green family trail (named PISTE DES BIQUETTES on the map) is certainly a good place to start. It has a nice gradient for beginners and more experienced riders alike, some nice technical features and corners to get you started on. Unfortunately this run ends, in a slight confusion due to the sudden loss of green arrows, on a road half way down the hill and you need to ride down the road back to the lift. The black graded run (dans l’gaz) is one of the better tracks in Les Gets. Its steep, fast, and has a mixture of technical sections and jumps. Just take care in the steep berms near the bottom as some serious ruts form in here and can catch you off guard. As this side of Les Gets is ridden the least, the tracks here tend to stay in better condition that the rest of the bike park. There are also a couple of trails off the map if you are really looking for a fright. The original world cup track no longer exists.
The Chavannes face of Les Gets is certainly the most popular. Despite there only being 3 tracks, a green, a red and a black, its direct access to the town and location directly under the very efficient chairlift lift gives a great view of the main red graded track and draws in the crowds, regardless of, or more so lack of, ability. The red track (LA ROUE LIBRE) or more commonly known as ‘chavannes run’ , is a great track for jumps and going fast. With no technical sections, this track is flat out all the way down, ending in a 4x section. The downside of this track is that its location directly under the lift means that everyone can see it and, therefore, want to ride it, even if they have never ridden a bike before. It is not uncommon to find groups of men traveling at speeds slower than your grandmother whilst wearing disgraceful amounts of body armour. The result of the heavy traffic (and heavy breaking) is a ridiculous amount of breaking bumps that appear at the start of the season and never get fixed. The green family trail (PISTE DES ECUREUILS) is another a good beginners spot. Its a fairly long run back to the lift and is a mix of easy single track and some small corners. The track ends in a small skills area with some table tops, berms and wall rides to practice your skills on.
The black trail (Canyon) is a very fun but technical track. You will face a sea of tree routes for the entirety of your journey, as well as a little north shore. There are various lines through the Canyon, most of them very fun and enjoyable, but be cautious of the rather sketchy jumps (newly built last year), some of which have little to no landing and some steep falls off the side if you over shoot them. Certainly look before you leap.
The final area of Les Gets Bike Park is serviced by the Nauchettes lift and is located on the back side of the Chavannes area. This side of the hill is home to several winding berm filled tracks graded blue and red, as well as a black graded ‘jump park’. The blue and red tracks are all very similar, the reds having some double jumps in, and are a nice place to practice your bike skills. These tracks generally flow quite well and dont get as tired as the main Chavannes line. The ‘jump park’ line down this side of the hill is certainly not Les Gets’ finest piece of track building. The track starts with a nice double but quickly approaches some more technical features. The first corner has a jump very close to it, so don’t go too fast. Once you are around the corner, providing you didn’t jump straight over it by accident, you have the option of either a ‘ride up wood drop’, or a ‘straight off the end wood drop’, both of which have a landing very close to the drop and then turn into corners almost immediately. The remainder of the track follows suit, with gaps and jumps in unexpected places. This track is ridable once you know whats coming and is certainly not for beginners. Be sure to take a spin down before attempting anything, as the approaches and landings are not as obvious as you might expect.
Les Gets is a great place to ride as part of your holiday, if you are on a lads week or a family trip, it will certainly keep you entertained for a couple of days. The tracks here get beaten up fairly quickly so be prepared to venture further afield than Les Gets. Its easy access to other Portes Du Soliel riding areas which means that you can spend your weeks holiday riding a different place every day. The town of Les Gets itself isnt as busy as neighbouring Morzine. Morzine has a lot more going on and better access to the rest of the Portes Du soliel area, so, if you are after a more happening bar & party scene or better access for exploring, Morzine is the prefered place to stay. Les Gets is great for families or for those seeking a more tranquil holiday. Les Gets’ world cup glory days are most certainly over but there is still a lot of fun to be had here.
It''s easy access to other Portes Du Soliel riding areas
The tracks here get beaten up fairly quickly