Orcieres Merlette 1850

Orcieres Merlette 1850 /

Q&A: Orcières Merlette 1850 Orcieres Q&A

Q&A: Orcières Merlette 1850 – Bike Park

Who are you and what is your involvement with Orcières Bike Park?

Maïdi Vanderharghe, I work at the Tourist Office of Orcières Merlette 1850 and I deal with mountain bike promotion.

How long ago did Orcières Merlette 1850 become a Bike Park? Who or what was the driving force?

Orcières Merlette 1850 created a bike park in 2006. The resort is famous for its numerous activities during summer and winter. As mountain biking became famous in the Alps in the 2000s, Orières decided to be involved in this new activity to complete the tourism supply. Orcières Bike Park has been implemented during the summer 2006.

(Photo credit: Gilles Baron)

What does 1850 stand for?

1850 is the altitude of the resort at the bottom of slopes.

How many trails does the bike park have right now? Are there plans to build more trails this summer?

The bike park is made up of 8 downhill tracks, 1 north shore area, 1 beginner fun area, 1 big air bag, 2 pumptracks and 5 enduro trails. A ew blue DH track will be realisd for the next summer (2018) 

(Photo credit: Gilles Baron)

Describe the predominant “style” of riding at your park? (Natural vs. Manmade, DH/Tech/Steep vs. Flow/Features) Typically, what kind of terrain do you have? (Rocky, Dry-dusty, Tacky, Roots)…

The predominant style is manmade trails with a fluent ride for DH area on the southern side of the mountain. Enduro trails are more technical and steep on the western side of the mountain. Orcières Mountain is an alpine pasture without trees, with dry terrain and grass. The top of the Drouvet is stonier, but trails flow fluent to connect down the pastures.

(Photo credit: Gilles Baron)

What is the most popular trail and why?

The most popular is “Gardettes” completely reshaped this year. It's a technical and  flow trail with lots of fun modules. The end of the trail is connected to the north shore area made with jumps, wall ride and other different modules...

The second popular trail is an enduro: “1000 virages” (it means 1000 turns). It begins at from the top of Drouvet for a 1350 meters difference in height and 12 km of go downhill to finish at the bottom of the valley where riders take a shuttle to go back up to the resort. A very interesting trail with different features and landscapes (alpine pastures, crest, forest...).

(Photo credit: Gilles Baron)

Do you have any events planned for this 2017 season?

Endurocyclette the 8th and 9th of july.

(Photo credit: Gilles Baron)

Is there a large riding community? How far do riders travel to ride the park?

Orcières Merlette 1850 has been famous at the end of the 2000's. Nowadays, because of competition of larger resorts and bike parks, it is known as a secret spot. It's very accessible for tourists on holidays in the region and in the resort.

Is there a main place for riders to hangout? Maybe a restaurant or bar where people can eat lunch or have post ride drinks? Or a bike shop?

There are 3 bike shops :

⁃    Intersport for a lots of choice

⁃    Gentianes Sport also bike school : nice for riding and technical advices

⁃    Ski center : with technical welcome by passionates people, with new bikes every years.

There is a restaurant “Chalet de Rocherousse” in altitude for a break during the ride. In the resort center, there are lots of pubs and restaurants for a break close to the bottom of slopes, as “Café Merlettois” for a drink or “L'Ourson” for a lunch and much more.

(Photo credit: Gilles Baron)

What does the future hold for the bike park?

1 or 2 new slopes for 2018 and 2019.

Probably a new bike event for the next summer...

(Photo credit: Gilles Baron)

The Orcières Bike Park take place in a particular preserved nature at the gates of the Ecrins National Park. Riders can appreciate these beautifull landscapes during their ride.


Having fun, looking good and feeling protected all because of these guys!


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