From our trip in 2010 so if you like this then you are in for real treat:
SO HAS THAT CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION THEN JUST READ THIS, THIS IS A MASSIVE AND ALL ENCOMPASSING CLUB OUTING TO THE ALPS, ITS LIKE SCOTLAND ON STEROIDS!
MORZINE IN THE PORT DU SOLEIL IS THE MECCA FOR MOUNTING BIKING (AND ROAD) AND IS PERFECT FOR ALL ABILITIES. LOOKING AT DATES AS THINKING OF T’ING IT IN WITH THE PASSPORT DU SOLEIL OPENING EVENT FOR THE LIFT SEASON WHICH WE DID 5 YEARS AGO WHICH IS GREAT EVENT AND AGAIN SUITABLE FOR ALL. ANYWAY READ BELOW AND PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHO IS INTERESTED SO WE CAN START GETTING PRICES FOR ACCOMMODATION FIRMED AND DATES AGREED IN THE DIARY.
PS PLEASE ASK ANY QUESTIONS I AND A NUMBER FO OTHERS HAVE MTB HERE AND MANY OTHER PARTS Of THE ALPS FOR YEARS AS WE CAN ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS. THE EXPERIENCE IS SECOND TO NONE!
Here are some snippets when we went in 2010 (and some of us were larger then!)
When: Sat 26 June to Sat 4th July – different to the dates I said in the meeting but why?
It’s so we can all do this on day 1 (Sunday) which is a great intro the Alps, great riding, not massively hardcore, tons of fun, food and beers an each village, great day and a free left pass as well…
The MTB Pass’Portes du Soleil is a mountain trek ranging from 1000 to 2250m in altitude, in both France and Switzerland, where you can discover the fabulous Portes du Soleil MTB terrain and its grandiose scenery. The 80 km circuit use 15th lifts. Different variations will be organized for mountain bikers wishing to cycle up hill. The trek takes one day, and participants can choose whether to ride it on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Approximately 80 km / 50 milles – 15 ski-lifts – 6000m of total downhill
9 different resorts to start from :
– In France: Avoriaz, Châtel, Les Gets, Morzine and Montriond-Les Lindarets.
– In Switzerland: Champéry, Morgins, Torgon and Les Crosets.
1000 m of total uphill climb
8 refreshment points :
Start at any time between 7.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. from each resort.
New options on the route for an easier way back to the starting resort.
Lifts will open from 7:30 am to 6 pm each day.
Price (from 15 years old): €47 (+ covers processing, bank charges and insurance increase: 4,50€)
Plan is to hire a chalet for all of us in Morzine for example http://www.morzine-mtb.com/accommodation with price around 200-250 per person in a shared room.
All have the usual fully equipped high standard apartments, short flat ride to the lifts, in house host, secure bike storage, jet wash to clean your bikes, laundry machine, free Wi Fi, Jacuzzi in the garden and a sauna. They are not catered though, can get cost for these put this is just a starter for 10.
As we are in Morzine which is a large resort eating options are massive plenty of restaurants, bars, night life and shops if wanting to eat in.
Options are fly down to Geneva and then get a dedicated transfer. Flights around £200.00 per person inc bike carriage plus say 60 euros per person for trasfer from Geneva to Morzine.
Others may drive or can do a mixture its not a huge issue, its just budgeting prices.
Lift passes are around £80 for 5 days and cheaper if doing less.
Guide for a day for an XC probably 200 euros if we want.
Bike hire if you need one 50-90 euros a day depending how big you go, hiring a full on down rig for a day is worth it as they ride like hit knife through butter.
Moneys for food and drinks say 40 euros a day
MTB Pass’Portes du Soleil 47 euro for a day .
So 200+250+120+47+240 = 850 euros or £685.00 as a rough guide.
Where : Portes Du Soleil and staying in Morzine
Morzine, Les Gets, Avoriaz, & the whole Portes du Soleil (PDS) area is a mecca for mountain bikers the world over, with thousands of kilometres of down hill and cross contry trails, an extenisive lift system, bike park areas and beautiful mountain scenery to top it off. The area has been at the forefront of Alpine mountain biking for a considerable number of years and as such has a highly developed network of trails. There is literally something for everyone to enjoy, from family riding, beginniner downhill tracks, north shore tracks, skills practise areas, bike parks and a diverse mix of cross country loops spanning from France into Switzerland and back.
Morzine and the Portes du Soleil has more bike parks and therefore maintained and graded trails than many other alpine resorts; for example Les Gets (Chavannes/Nauchets area), Linderets (express linderets) Chatel (Plaine Dranse) and Les Crosets / Champery although these two areas particularly difficult and should only be tackled by expert level riders.
One of the best known mountain bike events at the start of the summer season each year, is the Pass’portes du Soleil, where you can ride the whole 80km circuit, or smaller portions of it depending on how fit you’re feeling. It’s hosted in a different town in the Portes du Soleil each year and subscriptions start around March, booking up very quickly.
LIFT ACCESS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKES
The lifts are open from mid June until mid September and have specifically adapted racks or hooks for your bikes allowing you spend more of your time riding incredible alpine terrain rather dragging yourself up steep inclines (unless that’s what you like!)
Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets and the Portes du Soleil have some of the best and diverse mountain bike trails in the French Alps. With hundreds of kilometres of trails for downhill, cross country and bike parks, you’ll busy for weeks on end trying them all out! Here you can find our guide of all the best routes in Les Gets and Morzine, along with maps of mountain biking trails.
Trails in Morzine
The best known trail is the Pleney downhill course sporting a vertical drop of 560m over a distance of 3.25 kms. This is a purpose built downhill course and is rated black. This and some other runs have choices between “facile” (easy) and “difficile” (difficult!) routes; take the latter only if you’re confident and have been riding within your ability level so far. But don’t make this your first run of the holiday, opt for one of the gentler runs down from the Pleney télécabine criss-crossing the hill to flatten the gradient.
Look out for a refreshment stop at d’Atray followed by the advanced super technical trail down the Atray gulley or the slightly less hair raising roller coaster ride. A more pedal oriented run will take you to the Grand Pre after negotiating “Heart Attack Hill” and onwards back to Morzine via the Lievre and Retour des Nants pistes. From the Super Morzine side of the valley try the Morzine switchbacks, generally super fast with a few technical sections in there for variety!
You can now also ride around 350km of trails dedicated specifically to electric mountain bikes, made up of 3 green trails, 9 blues, 11 reds and 1 black trail.
Trails in Avoriaz and the Portes du Soleil
There are a number of relatively easy and picturesque trails which criss-cross Avoriaz, Morzine and its very near neighbour, Les Gets. These areas provide some excellent riding for the less experienced, less fit or those not inclined to defy gravity. The Dranse River, which runs through both resorts, has a beautiful trail alongside its banks that takes the rider to the picturesque St-Jean-D’Aulps from Morzine and in the opposite direction to Lac Mines d’Or, an excellent place to stop and soak up the sun whilst having lunch.
For those of a more adventurous disposition the best riding can be accessed via the Portes du Soleil lift system which has 25 lifts open to bikers in the summer. Beginning in Morzine with the Super Morzine and Pleney télécabines, from there the trails are endless and provide access to the wider Portes du Soleil riding area based on the villages of Les Gets, Linderets, Plaine Dranse, Chatel, Morgins, Champoussin, Les Crosets, Champery and Avoriaz. It is even possible to ride outside of the lift access areas and reach villages such as Samoens and return via the leg busting three hour ride up the Col du Golese!
The variety of trials is immense ranging from four track to purpose built, fear inducing downhill trails, meaning riders of intermediate to expert standard could spend a lifetime exploring the possibilities. Here are a few of our favourites…
Trails on the French Side of the Portes du Soleil
Avoriaz has the new(ish) downhill black rated track into Les Linderets, a bike park and a four cross course going for it. When you have had enough of that you can head for the winter home run, Les Crot, which is more commonly known as the Gravelanche in the summer. This is super fast and gravely, hence the name, and brings you out at the head of the Prodains valley where you can indulge in a freewheel race all the way back to Morzine.
The downhill course into Linderets from the top of Avoriaz is a relatively new addition to the area and hosted a French cup downhill race as its inaugural event. So if you fancy testing yourself on the same course negotiated by the likes of French star Fabien Barrel, give this a go. It is super technical and a little bit demanding for all but full on downhill rigs. Again there are plenty of trails traversing the mountain in a less vertiginous fashion, pick them out if you’re more of an all mountain rider. From Linderets there is a great trail down to Montriond via the Parchets piste and onwards back to Avoriaz via the river trail – a most pleasant way to return to base. To access Les Crosets try the Mossettes lift up to the high point of the Portes du Soleil. From here you can either drop down the fire roads to Les Crosets with a couple of obvious more technical trails dropping through Planachaux. Or try the Swiss cup downhill course from the ridge line – Grand Conche. This super steep black drops 470m in just 3 kms.
There has been extensive trail building activity in recent years in this area, accessed via the new Chaux Fleurie chairlift. The runs are graded as per a ski area, blue, red and black in order of ascending difficulty. There is numerous north shore dotted around the red and black runs with easier runs leading all the way to Pre-la-Joux. In terms of difficulty, the reds would suit an accomplished rider, the blacks are super difficult so be sure of your ability before tackling them.
Chatel is accessed from the Plaine Dranse area via the terrace trail. There are 2 green runs (we recommend the Panoramique as its fast and flowy and has great views of Lac Montriond) four really nice flowy blues, 5 red tracks, and 8 black tracks. Over the past couple of years the bike park shapers have been busy putting in extra gap jumps and fun features, so definitely worth checking out. Find the trail map here.