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Enduro du Beaufortain

Slop fest in one of the quietest corners of the Rhone Alps

With no guiding work in Beaufort this summer a plan was made for the some of the previous years guides to meet up for an early season blast on some of favourite trails.

For the Beaufortain Enduro the lift in Areches was open for the whole weekend and there were two bus uplift options to help gain some height to the downhill stages (not timed).

June had been a pretty poor month for weather with storms rolling in and out and only a few dry days.  I decided to put a bigger tyre on the front of my bike to try and gain some more grip in the impending mud of the Beaufortain forests. It did help a little, but really it was a slip and slide approach to riding for the whole weekend.  For those of us that knew the lines it made life a little easier, but sometimes due to wet roots you couldn't get to where you wanted to and you had hope you could slow down and make the next corner. Everyone was still grinning, and despite there being 300 riders, it never felt busy anywhere.

Our last trail on the Sunday was a new triple black rated trail that was new to us all.  We were excited to check it out.  The top was freshly cut and like a pump track, the bottom, well the bottom was so steep it took several hours to get down with body's strewn all over the place.  In the dry the mega steep roll-ins would be ok as you could get grip for the exit's, on this day it was surfing and knowing when to get off the bike.  Great fun still.

Everything was really well organised for the whole weekend with a constant flow of uplift buses, plenty of snacks at the lunch stop and a nice evening meal and dj set on Saturday night.  I would highly recommend the event!

Luckily the sun came out for course marking and marshalling at the enduro2 mountain bike race:


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Verbier is a very mixed place.  There is great piste skiing & free-riding and access to world class ski touring, but more often its known for it's decadence.  Huge picture perfect chalets with wealthy families and their beaufituful/handsome ski instructors fill the resort. And if not that, the seedier side of ski resorts, the bankers with their paid for woman. . .

Talking of horrible, those exposed switchbacks half way down from the Chateau were bloody horrible, lucky the rest of the trail was very good fun.

Well of course, its Swiss Valais, the footpaths are "tip top" and the lift companies are bike friendly.  There were still a lot of pistes open for skiing, but after 11am you can use the lower lift from Le Chable to Verbier to access the snow free trails that lead back into the valley floor.  Time to explore:

Many thanks to Lorne for some of the cracking photos :