Two trails

No octocopters where used in the making of this shot

It might be the last week of proper uplift in the valley before the end of summer but it certainly doesn’t feel like the end of the season.

Les Houches is where it’s at right now and after the success of the ride from Nid d’Aigle it seemed a shame not to check out some of the other lines on the map.

Climb with a view

The dotted red line that traverses round rather than over Mont Lachat was the first, and whatdaya know, turns out it is a quick easy way round to the Col Mont Lachat. There is one short section with wire railings in place but it doesn’t warrant the dotted red line.

The call of the col. I'll get me coat.

From the col there’s then 2 ways to descend back into the valley, one taking the fall line through some very tightly spaced contour lines, the other meandering across the hill and missing anything cliff like on the map. In my mind I imagined the first trail being a techy nightmare, but hopefully in a good way, and the second being a continuous band of singletrack working it’s way through forest and open meadows.

Of course, that’s all in my mind.

They used to test jet engines here apparently

The steep line was up first. Sandy & I pedalled and pushed round Mont Lachat in the afternoon sunshine, questioning whether it was late September or late July, to the buildings at the col. Our rapid progress was slowed by me discovering the doors were open and insisting I got to go and have a poke about. This, and the obligatory hop about the outside on our bikes, over, we could get on with the trail.

Obligatory riding past a chalet shot, trail 1.

Pretty good on the top part, open and flowy before going into tighter rocky sections. At the split we turned right into the woods, where it was mostly open and flowy with tighter root sections, then suddenly death exposure.

Gonny no fall there

If you’re feart of heights, or even slightly concerned about heights, or have an active imagination regarding geological stability, this trail probably isn’t for you….

You don't HAVE to be able to endo turn to ride in Chamonix, but it helps

It is good though, that’s all I’ll say.

Oh look, a corner, best get ready to endo.

Day two trail two.

This time Lorne is along for the ride. From the map I thought this trail had more potential to be fun riding, but after breaking left at the junction I was a bit disappointed. The gradient was right, but there just hadn’t been the traffic to stop the vegetation encroaching a bit much over the track. After a while the trail became more defined, but flow was still thwarted by fallen trees or collapsed sections of trail.

Good singletrack + old lift tower = photofun

In between stops the riding was fun enough, and finding derelict lift infrastructure is always a bonus (if you’ve got a mechanical engineering degree at least) but it just lacked that certain something.

Lower down the trail went from lacking an undefined “something” to lacking an easily defined “downhill gradient” I’m happy to ride uphill, but constant changing from steep down to unrideable up gets a bit weary.

It might have been the "easy" trail, but it still had it's moments

I was wondering if I was just having a bad day and the trail was better than I was crediting it but  rejoining the previous days trail near the village for the final few kms it was clear where the best riding was.

Two trails, one that’s absolutely brilliant, none I’d recommend.

Picture this