‘Effing excellent

Hmm, I'll pretend to swear, they won't think I'm a multi millionaire then.

You might not have noticed, but there’s a wee bit of a referendum happening in Scotland next week. It seems that Westminster hadn’t noticed either as over the last 7 days there’s been a sudden realisation that folks north of the border might just go vote for independence, and for reasons other than watching Braveheart too many times. Cue a love bombing campaign of Scotland. Promises that we won’t take you for granted, we won’t ignore you, it’ll be different this time, trust us, we’re politicians…

But this isn’t a political blog, so what’s with the intro? Well, I worry I might have been doing something similar with Chamonix. After a summer of racing across France I’ve seen amazing trails, great riding scenes, understanding lift companies and Chamonix’s been forgotten, just there for the day to day rides. Fortunately the last 2 days as we squeeze the last out of each closing lift has reminded me just how ‘effing excellent the riding is here.

Angry Spence, wee trail.

Lacking the tech of Brevent & Flegere, and the huge views of Le Tour, Les Houches doesn’t really spring to mind when most people think of the riding around Chamonix. A shame as it’s got some of the best trails. As long as it’s not raining, or you don’t mind the mud.

In Chamonix we call this lacking in views

A quick lap of most of the bike park trail with a wee variation to avoid the mud and road of the lower section warmed us up before heading to the main course of the day, Who’s way.

Spence, who’s ridden pretty much everything in Chamonix, had somehow missed this over the years so Lorne and I were keen to show it off.

This week I have mostly been messing with exposure levels. Assume if the photo is correctly exposed Lorne took it, otherwise probably my work.

It takes a bit of finding, but the clues are there for an amazing, almost 100% singletrack, 1300m descent from the Prarion gondola through Montfort and on to Le Fayet. There’s a few more tyre tracks on it than this time last year which suggests it’s being found a bit more, but so far everyone’s playing nice and not skidding it to death.

Exploring some of the alternative lines on Who's way.

After commenting most of the way down how good it was not to be riding against the clock we then discovered we were riding against the clock to get to St Gervais in time for the last tramway. Some hashtagendurotraining later we had a 10 minute wait for the tram and the decision of how to head back to town.

Spence seemed to approve of who's way

Which, as usual, turned out to be the GR5/Cedric’s favourite trail (allegedly). How had I forgotten how good this trail was? As an added bonus, some work’s been done on the techiest section since the summer deluges, bringing it that bit closer back to being ridable clean (by us, I’m sure Cedric would have nae worries).

Three thousand vertical meters or so of varied and amazing riding all in an afternoon off work. Chamonix, how did I ever doubt you?

In BC you rack the bikes on the back of a pick up, In Europe, we're a bit more sophisticated.

Another day and another lunch break, time enough to sample the fun at Flegere on it’s last day. A busy choice with plenty of other folks out on bikes and enjoying the sunshine. One lap down to Les Joux and another to Floria buvette doesn’t sound like much but again, these trails are just so good I was embarrassed to have been neglecting them.

Sick track bro.

The trail elves have even been out doing some work on the old Flegere DH trail to make it 100% rideable from the Index lift down to the Flegere/Brevent liaison lift and so make the first bit of the descent a bit more interesting than fireroad.

Up above the streets and houses, thanks to the work of the unknown

Should it be “Aye Chamonix” or “Chamonix, better together”? Dunno. But I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted

Fear or excitement? Trying to remember if there's a landing.....

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