Back out

What it says really!

The last of the piste skiing in Chamonix has closed for the winter and town is now definitely in interseason mode. That means empty bars, closed hotels and quiet trails, though no uplift alas. Normally the train takes the strain at this time of year, however the entire line is closed for renovation until the 28th June. Everything has a silver lining and it helps move from ski legs to bike legs if you have to get up everything under your own steam.

It got sunny again today so with Sandy, Spencer and Nina we headed out for a wee ride on one of the classic Chamonix valley trails, up on the Promenade de l’Arve to Planet and down on the Petite Balcon Nord.

Chamonix, all about ride in-ride out accomodation.

These are well ridden, popular routes, but the great thing about Chamonix is that there’s always a variation or a new trail to try out, even on the most familiar area. They’re also good for me as after surviving almost an entire winter uninjured I managed to properly tweek my back on piste, so after laying off the bike for a while wanted something not too tech to ease back in on.

This started as we past Le Bois following a narrow section of singletrack round to Le Tines instead of staying on the road past the golf course. The area behind Le Bois is criss-crossed with wee tracks and trials features, worth checking out if you only want a quick blast out on the bike.

The Abbey Road album cover would have been different if the Beatles biked

The next section of new trail came on the descent from Planet, courtesy of a pair of lads we bumped into who were building it. Keep your eyes open as you descend, if you see it, it’s better than the regular trail down, if you don’t, the regular trail’s still good. The new track is far from finished, but shaping up well with a really nice drop into gully feature low down being the highlight for now.

Spencer cruising the drop on the new trail below PlanetSandy, still getting used to dry trails, not something common to Aberdeenshire apparently

After a few stops to play on features around the Argentiere nordic ski trails we headed down the Petite Balcon Nord. The snow’s completely gone from the avalanche corridors and it’s a good blast just now before the summer hordes arrive.

The last of the detours came after the fast and loose doubletrack below Lavancher where Spencer took us up a super tech climb (only the third climb after promising Nina it was downhill all the way now…) leading into an engaging ridge line back into Le Bois.

Nina on the Le Bois ridge lineSummer; finally!

All in all, great to be out in the sun with friends on fun trails, hopefully it’s the start of a long summer of it.