Lift openings 2024: Up, and not crying

Hey hi!

Yeah, I know, I know.

Long time indeed.

How’re you?

Oh, you know, oppe, og ikke gråter / 你吃了吗 / meshe lhal / could be worse….

Lets ignore a lost year and start where we left off. When do the lifts open for summer?

Chamonix

Bellevue: 8th June – 15th September (opening and closing 1 week later than 2023)

Flegere: 8th June – 22nd September (open 1 week longer than 2023) then 19th October – 3rd November

Le Tour: 8th June – 8th September (same as 2023)

Planpraz/Brevent: 15th June – 15th September (opening 1 week later than 2023)

Tramway du Mont Blanc: 15th June – 29th September (open same as 2023)

Vallorcine: 22nd June – 8th September (opening 2 weeks later than 2023)

Prarion: 22nd June – 8th September + the weekend 15/16 June (opening 1 week earlier than 2023)

Grand Montets: Closed. They’re building a new lift or something, i dunno.

As ever, Chamonix probably isn’t the single greatest place to go play bikes, but once you put a 1 hour radius on it…. Different story.

So when does everywhere that’s not Chamonix open?

La Thuile: 22nd June- 8th September A week longer than 2023, just as brutal on the arms.

Megeve: 22nd June – 8th September. Megeve is really 2 resorts, so the Mont Blanc natural resort bit is staggered between 22nd June and 8th September (same periods as 2023) and the Jaillet side is….still unknown. Big Megeve news is that the EDR (EWS for old people) is in town 28-30 June, which might mean more lifts and resurrected bikepark in the future. Or might not.

St Gervais: Probably closed. Another of those new lift things.

Les Contamines: 29th June – 1st September. Two lifts, more than two trails, rarely more than two other riders.

Grand Massif: 31st May – 8th September. Assorted start and finish times across the area, with a usual caveat that these are the website gets updated late, so it’s off of rumours and guesswork. Les Carroz is go from the 22nd June to 8th September, Samoens is hosting the Velo Vert festival again over the first weekend of June, and Les Carroz a national DH race 22nd June, so it’d be grand if they’re open from then but it’s possible (likely…) they’re then closed until the end of June. Flaine is maybe 29th June to 28th August.

Pila: 22nd June – 8th September. Still the best bike park in all of the world, or at least Aosta. Again it’s the Gorraz Grand Grimond lift and a long, hot push instead of Coulis 1 if you want to do any of the more, hmm, scenic, options.

Portes du Soleil: 26th May – 29th October. The dates include a fair bit of limited area opening at start and end of season, and there’s world cup racing in there too, but it all roughly breaks down as: Les Gets Chavannes side open weekends only from 26th May and everything open from 16th June to 17th September. Chatel is 9th June to 7th September. Avoriaz, all the days from 15th June to 15th September. Morzine 31st May to 15th September. Morgins 28th June to 27th October, Champery 30th May to 27th October. Bernex 29th June to 1st September.

Verbier: 1st June – 27th October. For the limited area of park at least. 29th June to 16th September for all the funs.

Les Arcs: 15th June – 8th September. Weekends only at start and end of that, but take what you can.

La Clusaz: 3rd July to 1st September, and 3 weekends either side of that too again, which is nice if you have weekends off…

But what even is summer? Bike park season started when it ended. Every month since October we’ve been playing bikes off the lifts in the alps (the images need to come from somewhere.) Which is good in some ways and very bad in others. Glossing over the bit where we’re more than a year deep into being plus 1.5 degrees above pre industrial averages, where can we go play bikes now. Now. NOW!

Or if not now, soon. (usual 1h radius from Chamonix a wee bit stretched)

Bourg Saint Maurice: Funicular fun is there up to 28th April. Except Saturdays. Sorry weekend types.

Pila: Until 7th April Think you’re Sam Hill? You’re not. But you can ride the freeride trail none the less. Or 21b. We’ve been doing it most of winter.

Les Haberes: May? Opened their bike park in winter when the snow failed. Fun. And Finn Illes approved. No official dates for opening, but the rumour is in May.

Verbier: Always! Except 29th April – 26th May when it’s closed for repairs. Plenty enduro action from the now (almost) always running Le Chable-Verbier telepherique.

Metabief: 1st -12th May. Wednesday to Sunday, then weekends, except when there’s a monday. It’s complicated… Anyways, the world Championships were there in 1993. Mountain biking hasn’t changed since then, so it’s still good.

Flegere: 13th – 20th May. Trail bike tech bliss. A brief time window to ride, easily scuppered by bad weather, so if you’re looking for late season storm skiing I suspect this week is when to head to Chamonix.

Sept Laux. Initially weekends only, somewhere between the 4th and 25th May. Have you seen the Amaury Pierron Supreme MX launch edit? 2.02mins of why you should ride at Sept Laux.

La Saleve: Is open again, all the time. Yay. And with more local built trails than before. Yay. And several times more expensive. Boo. Wednesdays to Sundays just now.

Monts Jura: 18th May to summer. A wee bit above Geneva, a wee bit more choice than Saleve, a wee bit of a guess at the dates.

Chaumont: 5th April onwards. My bikes from there, might as well take it to it’s home.

Gampel: Always open. More Swiss uplift masquerading as public transport.

Trail Taxi have already fired up the shuttles for 2024, trips to all the trails you can shake a stick at in Valais and Aosta on their website, give Jarno a shout now!

This might be the start of semi more regular content, or it might not. It’s the first effort made for phones instead of laptops, it might be the last.

Summer looks pretty busy now with lots of great trips with Bike Village, Endless trails and a few bits with my own clients (obviously, if you’re looking for the best biking holiday of your summer, I’d get clicking on the links above) so maybe I won’t have time to write anything interesting. Then again, there’s a few cool trips planned, so maybe the muse will strike.

Whatever happens, have fun out there y’all, mibbies see yous on the trails.

Ape. The ultimate Italian shuttle vehicle. I just wish they’d swapped the red and orange ones round.