Dear green place


The Chamonix valley. It’s expensive (so move somewhere less dear or quit whining), it rains (well, how else does it stay green) and it’s miles from Glasgow (the original dear green place). But between the winter & summer seasons there’s a lot in common with the Weeg.

The clouds are down in the valley hiding the aiguilles and leaving a view of green, tree covered, hills. None of the lifts are open so we’re pedalling up fire roads to bomb down damp singletrack. And it’s raining, so there’s not too many other folk out and about despite none of the trails being particularly far from town.

Spence, not lost but not exactly sure where we are, above Bossons

Spencer and I felt the need to explore so headed off up towards the Mont Blanc tunnel in the hope of finding some trails to link known favourites across the north facing side of the valley down to Les Houches.

Even a cursory look at a map shows that there’s not too many trails and a lot of rivers in this area, but we didn’t have any better ideas, so figured we’d have a look.

The green, green foliage of home

Not far from the tunnel we crossed our first stream, the Torrent de la Crosset. Given it’s one of the main drainages for the Bossons Glacier it was pretty easy, I couldn’t help but wonder how long the snow we ski on the west face of the Midi takes to make it to the stream.

Torrent de la Crosset

Once over and this (and with dry feet), the trail heads downhill. Fast with greasy rocks and roots, just like Mugdock.

Leaning not falling

Next challenge, Torrent des Bossons. Again the water is relatively low so crossing is pretty easy, the hack through the deforested area less so. Fortunately we found a manicured garden for a millionaire’s chalet to skip through…..

Torrent des Bossons

The hill above Le Mont has some great wee trails accessed off the old green run from when the chairlift was for a ski area. You even get to pedal past Cedric Gracia’s attempt at getting a bike park in Chamonix, also long abandoned.

If Cedric had managed to get a CHX bike park on the go, would it have been called Gracialand? Spence plays on one of the rides.

Fortunately the singletrack is longer lasting and we get another great descent until we find the Torrent de Taconnaz. This time there’s a bridge, so nae danger of wet feet, but the bridge goes nowhere (there used to be one of them in Glasgow too) and we’re left randomly riding about Les Houches trying to find a trail until we get bored and head to Super U for 50 centime cookies.

Still think I'm stretching the Scotland/Chamonix analogy a bit far?

Doesn’t sound like much, but it was good to be out exploring instead of on the sofa. The elusive trail-to-end-all-trails remains elusive, but at least we know a few more shortcuts….

Taking the direct line