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Showing posts from September, 2014

Aiguille de la Grande Sassiere 3751m

One of those pure adventure days *warning mega photo post*Ali-venturing as it's been known by over the summer.  When Ali from trailAddiction gets grand idea's in his head it always leads to hike-a-bike. Read here on DIRT Mag about a previous mission, its the highest rideable peak in the alps!
A special team was organised:  A top ten finishing team from the Bivouac Enduro, Mael and Max, Ali, myself and Fred the mountain bike mechanic from Mavic. All keen, all stupid?
And then my alarm went off at 04:30.  Time to eat and drink as much as possible.  I hadn't been up this early since ski touring in refuges last winter.  In my tired state I did subconsciously know how to load the bikes onto the trailer, it's easy after doing it everyday all summer.  We drove up towards Val d'Isere, then turned left up a singletrack road.  It was around 6am, and it was still pitch black. Slowly the sun began to rise: And the hike-a-bike continued and turned into carry-a-bike, but with the su…

Crans Montana

Probably not quite up to the hype, but that's coming from a crew who have the best parks in Europe to choose from...
We headed over to Crans Montana to ride the lifts before they close down.  We'd all heard a lot of good things over the years about Crans Montana so were keen to check it out.
A winding road lead us up to a lovely south facing Valais mountain side.  The village of Crans is very smart. A classic Swiss style resort, caviar shopping anyone? 
Problem struck when we tried to park at the lift station carpark and were stopped by a security guard.  There was a Jeep 4x4 day taking place and it started at the lifts carpark.  The problem was that the security guard didn't know where to send us to park.  Not very Swiss. And also not very Swiss was the large free carpark we found for the day!
The first run we did was down the Red trail.  We stopped quite soon into to rest our arms due to the braking bumps and loose surface.  What have we let ourselves into I thought. Another…

An ode to Le Telepherique du Brevent

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.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 …

Keeping it going all the way back to the valley's

After a busy and wet summer season guiding, followed by an exhausting, but exhilarating TRANS SAVOIE I somehow had to muster up the stamina and mental energy for my IML Summer Assessment.  It was tough!
I made it back to Chamonix (thanks for having me you know who you are) with a urge to ride and use my valley lift pass.  My riding had slowed down a little this season so it was great to ride with some guys on big downhill bikes.  I mean try and keep up guys on downhill bikes.  I am still of thinking that in almost all situations, the Nukeproof Mega, is enough bike.  It's more the pilot that is slowing it down.  There are many good 'enduro' bikes these days and I think they are capable in all but the biggest of hits. And with a dropper post it's easy to ride uphill and traverse undulating trail sections...

Lucky that traversing ability as we had a trail in mind to get us to Argentiere from Flegere rather than going straight to Argentiere on the valley train.

The new Fleger…