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What guides do between work in the peak of July

Summer is here, and after fantastic spring riding in Southern France and then all over Valais, Aosta and Haute Savoie with good friends it's been time to get back to summer guiding, taking hikers around the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit.  There's much worse things to do, but with three weeks off the bike I was itching to get back on some trails.

With a carefully planned week between tours I was excited and made some plans to hit up some classic lines, and some new stuff too. It's mid July now, so in Chamonix valley you have to think carefully about where to go to miss the crowds, and to avoid going on the bike ban trails (July & August).  Luckily it's still easy to find quiet trails in nearby resorts, or to simply drop round the back of a hill away from the frontside lifts. It went a little like this:

Day 1- La Thuile with Wayne of newly qualified French legal mountain bike guiding service Chamonixmtb.com . Enduro race venue at it's best, rough and raw.



Day 2- Blue bike park flow trails of les Contamines and St Gervais with a bonus Roman Road descent thrown in for good measure. Bike park laps with mates can actually be fun says trail snob.




Day 3- Bike ban friendly Le Tour trails. Drop into Switzerland, back into the Vallorcine commune singletrack for flat out loamy corners and rocky straights.  The "boring" le Buet trail keeps us on our toes as normal and then two Grand Montets laps.  Trails of the highest alpine quality, all during bike ban season.

Day 4- Non bike day shocker.  Botanical flower garden in Champex, Switzerland.


Day 5- Ban ban friendly le Tour laps into Switzerland.  The ease that it takes to get away from busy hiking paths and terribly built, but still busy bike park trails, is incredible.  Drop around to Switzerland and you have more high quality trails that this area is renowned for.  No time for photo's as we were grinning and having too much fun riding big sections at a time.

Day 6- Pila dust fest getting big laps in. Deep deep dust for km's.  The park is getting beaten up, we couldn't slap the berms as heard as Bryceland and 50to01 boys, but we still kept going for hours and hours.  Of course we stopped for a cheap and filling lasagne and espresso lunch!




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Many thanks to Lorne for some of the cracking photos : http://www.lornecameron.com