Monthly Archives: August 2012

Time gentlemen, please

It’s been raining, some of the trees in the valley have started to yellow and town’s filling with ultra-runners, it can only mean one thing: the summer’s coming to an end, and the lifts shut down till the snow comes.

The Chamonix lift closures are staggered across the next 2 months:


PRARION: 2nd Sept




PLANPRAZ GONDOLA: 16th Sept (then Oct 27th to Nov 7th)

FLEGERE: 16th Sept

BELLEVUE: 23rd Sept

TRAMWAY … [Read full post]

Aye Grand, Massif

First things first. It’s been really hot in the alps, and dry (It still comes as a surprise to a Scot that very dry = very little grip on singletrack, but that’s basically what condition the trails are in everywhere this week.) Very little grip and you have to either be first, 6 inches off the leaders tyre or way way back to see anything. The weather has finally broken however and a few days of rain should help tack everything back up, and save us from heat stroke.

It’s also really busy here in Chamonix, so Tom, Lorne & … [Read full post]

Tour du Mont Blanc day 1

With nothing much to write about in Chamonix this week (the weather is hot, sunny and err hot, and both the town and trails are hoaching; Les Houches, Le Tour and GM trails are all holding up well, if a bit dusty; Flegere is OK but really needs the loose stones swept off it; rained a bit today which should improve grip, but the forecast is scorchio for the next week), I thought I’d put up a wee write up on the Tour du Mont Blanc which legendary (or at least infamous) Scottish biker Sanny & I did in September … [Read full post]

Tour du Mont Blanc day 2

….. Day two – the tortoise and the hare. On the climb out of the Refuge des Mottets we’d been swapping stories and jokes with an Andorran trail-runner, out for a gentle jaunt around Mont Blanc. As he was on foot and we were mostly carrying our bikes it was only to be expected that he would say his farewells and trot off into the distance, on the flat and descents we would easily be quicker.

Sure enough, we met him again as we dropped into Italy, the descent at first on open foot worn tracks with natural berms … [Read full post]

Tour du Mont Blanc day 3

……It was a proper lightbulb moment! I don’t know what inspired it, the amazing breakfast or the surreal sculptures of the “walk of the mushrooms”  but suddenly a chain of thought occurred to me – the freehub’s knackered & I don’t want to walk back to Chamonix, high torque will only make it worse, straining up a hill in the granny ring is high torque. Therefore, I can get off and push up the hills and it’s not because the hill has defeated me, I am being a mature, reasoned rider- Get in!

The breakfast was quite likely the cause … [Read full post]

Lavancher action

Edit: Ignore all of the below, the mayor has announced that CdMB canny build a road up through either Lavancher or from Les Tines. Does this mean that community action works….

I wrote a while ago that the CdMB were proposing to create an access road through the Lavancher village and along the line of the current MTB track from Grand Montets to facilitate the new Plan Joran chairlift. Unsurprisingly there was a lot of local concern about this, as Lavancher village wasn’t built with large lorries in mind, and the new track would destroy the existing small trail.

Since … [Read full post]

CdMB press release (and some Les Houches riding)

Read it here last! A little off the pace (I’ve been on holiday) and some time after everyone else has put it up, here’s an interesting press release from Compagnie du Mont Blanc about their commitment to biking:

Mountain biking in the Chamonix valley

Chamonix, August 3rd, 2012For three years now the Compagnie du Mont Blanc, aware of the ever increasing demand from mountain bikers, have made great efforts and significant improvements on the sites in the valley to offer mountain bikers more tracks to practice their favourite sport.The Balme area is particularly suited to this sport, so
[Read full post]

Half time analysis

It’s about ½ way through the bike season here in Chamonix, which means everyone’s discovering what that annoying squeak/rattle/creak has been for the last couple weeks as various parts give up or fall off after a few months abuse.

The trails are kinda the same with lots of bikes, but not much maintenance, going down. So how are things fairing around the valley?

Le Tour seems to be the in place to ride this season with the rarest of all things; occasional queues of bikes for the up lift! The front side is holding up well, the original DH track … [Read full post]