The end is nigh. Repent.

You want a challenge, try getting a shot like this using self timer......

The weather has, at times, been a bit biblical recently. Given Mount Ararat is 5137m high even Mont Blanc at 4810 ain’t going to save us. All we can do is head out in the rain and enjoy the biking whilst we still can.

The Chamonix trails, being generally steep and rocky, deal with the rain fairly well and drain pretty quick. Only Les Houches turns into a true quagmire and even there it’s possible to avoid the worst of it (which is generally the last 1/3 of the DH trail and all of the old DH trails from the Bellevue). Certainly it’s not as bad as the Portes du Soleil or Grand Massif which reportedly resemble Glastonbury on a bad year at the moment. That’s the mud, not the huge numbers of people, bands, inappropriate clothing for the weather etc.

Heavy weather (Jarvis Cocker obviously)

Keeping to trails above the tree line and exposed to the wind also help you stay dry(ish) and less muddy, though not perhaps as warm.

Anyway, riding mud is like riding powder whilst it’s dumping. You have to head out when the weather’s worst, you WILL get cold and wet, and it’s not easy. The flip side is that it’s so much more rewarding. Why ski down a well groomed piste when you can leave your own trace through the forest? If it’s too hard, you’re just not good enough.

The brown, brown mud of home. (any cover'll do)

Summer, or what’s passing for it, might still have another month or so to run but that doesn’t mean the lifts do. Shut down in Chamonix starts at the end of the month and it’s the same for most of the other hills.

Here’s the list you don’t want to see:

Vallorcine 31st August

Grand Montets 7th September

Brevent 14th September (re-opens 25th October to 2nd November)

Flegere 14th September

Prarion 14th September

Tramway du Mont Blanc 14th September

Le Tour 21st September

Bellevue 28th September

And futher afield

Grand Massif 31st Aug:

La Thuile 31st Aug :

Portes du Mont Blanc 7th Sept

Tignes / Val d’Isere 31st Aug (still FREE up till then) 

Pila 8th Sept:

Portes du Soleil starts closing the weekend of 31st August and is mostly closed by the 9th, except Champery which keeps going to 26th Oct:

Verbier 22nd September then weekends only until 26th Oct (if weather’s ok):

Fingers crossed the sun comes out to play for a few weeks and we can start to complain that it’s too hot and the trails too dusty for a bit instead.

No way I was setting up a timer shot on this, just appreciate the landscape for a change without a focal subject.