This weeks riding has been brought to you by the word Brevent!

First off, if you don’t live in the valley and are looking for a wee conditions update to decide whether to make the drive over or not, check the webcams. The snow line is wandering up and down the mountain and, if the forecast is correct, will continue to do so for the next few days.

How’s the riding been the last few days? After the snow down to the valley last weekend, it took a few days for it to be worth heading up with a bike, but my Tuesday the skies were blue, the temperature crisp, and tracks were appearing on the ground again.

Lorne in the snow, it's easier on skisJan on the tech in the main Brevent couloir

Umpteen laps of the main descent down the fall-line (Plan des Chablettes) have been logged. Unfortunately my preferred entry where you ride up the hill for a couple of hundred meters from the lift station, past the parapont take off field and drop in on excellent techy singletrack is still a bit too snowy to be worthwhile. Instead better to descend under the gondola station and beneath the gondola cables onto the 4×4 track which, though boring, clears of snow much quicker and gets you onto the amazing lower half.

Jan on Brevent, photo by Lorne CameronMore tech! Photo by Lorne Cameron

There’s been some small landslips on the lower section, but it’s still 100% rideable if you’ve got the confidence, and once in the trees the riding is some of Chamonix’s finest. I even finally plucked up the courage to air the rock drop just after the start of the trees, the rock lip giving more “kick” than I thought, and Lorne too, hence the missing head!

Brevent rock-drop. Photo Lorne Cameron

Generally the paths have been clearing on most aspects, but even down to village height snow has been hanging on in shady N.E. aspects and ice forming near streams, so watch out when exploring….

After Oliver commented on a previous post about the Sentier des Gardes path now being clear again, I headed up on Thursday to check it out. Unfortunately as I went up, the snow started coming down and by the time I got out the lift station conditions were pretty grim.

Just another lovely afternoon up Brevent, 1st November

Instead I decided to loose height quickly on the 4×4 path down past the Col Cornu chairlift and onto the home run. A couple of switchbacks down you’ll see a wee path diving off to the right, and it’s definitely worth following! There’s a few short sections where it’s easier to get off and carry round rocks and trees, but mostly it’s fast flowing singletrack all the way back to the Brevent base station. The trees were holding back the worst of the snow, and the extra moisture on the ground gave the trail amazing grip in the corners. what’s more the miserable weather seemed to be dissuading folk from going for a walk, so there was no-one else to slow up for. It really can be worth heading up, no matter the weather.

Sunny out again