If the Aiguille du Midi lift is the ultimate lift in Chamonix, if not the world, for testing your big mountain skiing the Brevent Lift is the ultimate lift for a test of mountain biking skill.
|Brevent face behind|
I've blogged before about the riding at the top of the Brevent lift. read here. Its extremely technical, and so much fun lower down. It dawned on me today though, as I looked across to the big glaciers and high high mountains on the other side of the valley, that, if the glorious Aiguille du Midi lift is the ultimate ski lift, then Le Brevent is the ultimate bikers lift. The Midi, love it and hate it is the true Chamonix lift. From town it whisks you to 3800m onto glaciers where you'll find some of the hardest north face ski lines in the world, wonderful free-ride couloirs to abseil into and open gentle glacial ski-touring. However everyone else in Cham who thinks they are big time heads there too. And in Easter every tourist and their trusty 'guide de montagne' swarm upon the lift and create endless moguls onto the Vallee Blanche. It is Cham through and through, love it for the access, hate it for the ease of access and everyone else being there!
If you want to, it will challenge you close to breaking point!
Brevent Lift is pretty similar. However with mountain biking being a minority sport in Chamonix, it doesn't get busy. But it will still challenge you and maybe break you, or your bike. The top is so so technical, momentum is key. The middle sections are faster, but still with big steps and rocks to test your nerve. Belechat is switchback heaven, but if you preserver on you get more big descents, ridge lines, and multiple options of fun, flow-tech, fast, rocks, big roots and everything else that Cham riding can feature!
|Lower down, just above Merlet Parc|
When you make it to the bottom in one piece, you smile, look back up and recount stories of near misses. Much like you do when you get to the Grepon carpark after an powder filled Cosmiques couloir into Para Face run.