Lift goes up, you come down
21 Jul 2014.
Date of Visit:
22 Jul 2014
A group of friends and I recently took a week break in Chamonix and we were slightly disappointed with the runs (Les Tours, Les Houches, etc...). We had visited Les Gets 4 years ago on hard tails but skipped all the trails. After watching some YouTube videos we decided to take a day visit there and WOAH, we were not disappointed.
(The weather had some bearing on how good the day was, the sun was out, blue skys, 24 degrees, and the ground was slightly tacky and getting drier throughout the day)
As long as you can ride a bike, there is something here for you! You’ll see; families pootering around on green runs, to (potential) pros doing jumps and tricks you didn’t even know were possible. One major benefit of this bike park (and any in a ski resort) is that you can see a lot of the trails whilst riding the lifts. This gives you ample opportunity to pick your lines and watch others from a birds eye view.
There are multiple runs graded as:
- Green long smooth tracks, 2-3 small optional table top jumps, fun, easy, worth doing whatever yourt skill level. I'd recommend only doing the green from the main lift station to the other lift station. The green trail that takes you all the way back to the bottom of the main lift station is just a standard fire road with no features. Family friendly.
- Blue A lot more interesting than the Green, smooth, relatively fast, plenty of berms and small jumps. Nothing dangerous as you'd expect, great for testing out any tricks and flicks.
- Red This is where the fun really begins, the NUMBER 8 starts from the top of the main lift and although it's one big run, you can split it into 3 parts where the fire roads cut through it. You'll start feeling the pounding after a day on this run! All the reds offer switchbacks, berms, table top jumps, gap jumps. You usually are warned with signs of features to be careful of. Everything is rollable.
Be wary of the red run that goes into the trees (after the first 1/3 of NUMBER 8, you can go left into the trees, or right, continuing the path down). If it has been raining hard in the days previous, you are going to hit mud, and a lot of it. It took a friend 11 minutes to do a 2 minute run with mud nearly reaching the top of his 26” wheels) - I'll upload a video of things within the next few days :-D
- Black I didn’t see any dedicated black only routes but these spring up on some of the red runs. There is a Jump Park which covers a lot of the black. I didn’t do any myself but there were by very tall and long jumps for anyone with the balls and skillz.
We paid 24 Euros for a day’s pass (think it was 19 for ½ day) and it was definitely money well spent. If you enjoy other bike parks and haven’t been spoiled with Whistler (Canada), this would definitely be one to check out. In just a day I had incrased my downhill speed, jump technique and confidence.
This was defiantly the best day I’ve had on a mountain bike and my biggest regret was going to Chamonix instead of Les Gets. Still, there’s always next year !!!
Cross Country Rating: