Best bikepark i visited this season!
At first I was a bit sceptical about visiting this park. We were in the center of the Portes du Soleil (Morzine, Chatel, Les Gets) and my buddies really wanted to visit the park. The weather was poor in the PDS so we decided to go there and I think it was the best decision we made. It costs quite a bit to pass the Mont Blanc tunnel but on the other side of the mountain there is a good chance the weather is better. Not only was the weather better but this was a fantastic park too.
There are 3 lifts here, a big closed cabin lift from Aosta to Pila (don’t get out in the middle stations), the Chamole lift for the bike stadium and another open lift to the top of the area. During our visit the top lift was closed though. The top of the Chamole lift is at 2309 meters and will be quite a bit colder than in Pila and Aosta. The people at the Chamole lift have you hang your bike up and sit in front of them which is rather unusual compared to other bikeparks. Once at the top you realize why this is, you have to take your own bike off the lift. So with pins and needles in your legs you may run around the chairlift. At least that’s how it was when we were there on a fairly quiet day.
The price of the lift ticket is good and quite a bit cheaper than most other bikeparks. There is enough parking space with nice views into the valley.
Bike Stadium Downhill:
The most notable about all these trails is perhaps the distinct lack of braking bumps, they seem to keep up well with their maintenance. The bike map doesn’t mention each separate track so it is difficult to remember the names of them.
The main trail is the downhill trail, this consists of roots, rock gardens, flat turns, good berms and good jumps. The very large rock garden can be riden around and further on there are two different routes the classic downhill and the world cup downhill. The world cup downhill has very big drops between rocks and needs to be taken at a good pace or you better walk down. The classic goes around this very demanding section but is still very fun. It has some nice jumps including two step ups which can be taken at any speed as the landing is high and long and gives a good thrill.
If you go left after you exit the lift you will get to a trail which is a bit more singletrail. It is natural and nice with roots, rocks and tight corners. There are a few junctions so it is easy to lose your buddies.
On the most right side when looking at the map there is a nice trail which is a bit easier, it contains a few small jumps and small rocks scattered all over. There is one tricky jump tightly packed in between many trees which has to be taken with caution though.
This is a 1130m descent from Pila to Aosta and is fantastic. The terrain is fairly loose compared to the bike stadium and really feels more like a natural descent down a hikers path in the mountains. On the steeper parts there are some berms but for the rest it is fairly untouched. It makes you feel like you are riding in the middle of nowhere instead of a manicured trail. You will ride off camber along the mountain, on a ridge line on the mountain and blast down a valley. It really has a bit of everything. There are also some junctions which split into more difficult section which will make even the most experienced riders smile. It is a long descent so you will have to take care of your brake temperatures and possibly your own fatigue.
You can park your car in Pila or Aosta though it is best to drive your car up to Pila so you are parked closer to the bulk of the trails. In Pila at the bottom of the Chamole lift there is a pub/restaurant. I would suggest you buy some Italian food here. Some of us were dumb enough to order a hamburger which was a microwave burger and was not appetizing at all. Our friends had some fresh pasta and a ham sandwich these were both delicious. The after ride Birra Moretti (Italian beer) was also great. I didn’t notice a bike store anywhere nearby although I’m sure with a park like this there must be one somewhere.
Down in Aosta there is a very big supermarket which has everything you could need. Including a good coffee corner where you can wait for your buddies to come down the hill.
I think this is the best park that I have visited this season. It is well worth a long journey to get here and can entertain you for a couple of days. If you are in the PDS and feel like something different or the weather is horrible you should definitely come here. The bike stadium is great with a good variety of trails. The freeride to Aosta is really unique and a great experience. If you are looking for big gaps and huge tables you might look elsewhere but for pure natural terrain this place is fantastic.
Cross Country Rating: