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  1. #1
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    Calling Euro homers: Alpine riding in Switzerland?

    I'll be spending a week in Switzerland this Summer, visiting a friend in Lugano. We are trying to plan a bunch of rides and could use any pointers you can give me. Obviously, places like Champery come to mind, and we will probably take a trip to the Portes du Soleil.

    We will be on 5in travel bikes, looking for big alpine rides, up, down, and across. What are your suggestions? What areas would you recommend? Specific trails? Maps, books?

    I would say anything between Livigno and Champery is game.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Valais region around Verbier, Dorenaz, Martigny - incredibly good riding.

    You'll need a guide to show you the best bits though - these people may be able to help :-

    http://www.powderanddust.com/
    http://www.bikeverbier.com/

  3. #3
    Moosehead
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    This sounds like one helluva good idea. I even like the romantic notion of the Euro Homer.

    "Sorry Honey, kids, boss, I'm a gonna go bust out some MTB riding in the Alps!"

    Please send pics, as I'll never get a hall pass.

  4. #4
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    Take your granny gears, the elevation change in the Alps makes the Rockies look small. 1800 ft valleys with nearby 14,000 ft peaks.

  5. #5
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    Where to start! Zermatt has to be on your list. When you going?

    The Alps is my summer playground

  6. #6
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    Anybody know of good riding near Interlaken? We will be visiting relatives in July/August. I lived there in the 90's, but the MTB scene was non-existant then and I just explored locally on my days off. I never found any prime singletrack, but I still had a lot of fun.

  7. #7
    try driving your car less
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    I will also be in the Alps this summer...

    Val D Aosta in June, then the Dolomites in August. Not bringing the Turner, though. I am going to mail a bike ahead, then leave it there at the inlaws.

    If you ride those places, please chime in on what sorts of riding people do. Where we ski in Cermis they advertise lift serviced DH in the summer. I just know that someplaces are all just gravel grinder roads to the top. Nothing wrong with that, just thinking about what sort of bike to ship ahead.
    Only boring people get bored.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dibbs_
    Where to start! Zermatt has to be on your list. When you going?

    The Alps is my summer playground
    I was hoping you'd chime in!

    I'll be there the first week of August. As I said, we'll be based in Lugano but can take a couple of overnighters in any direction, Zermatt and Champery are roughly the same driving distance.

    Do you have any guidebooks are specific rides to recommend?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosehead
    This sounds like one helluva good idea. I even like the romantic notion of the Euro Homer.

    "Sorry Honey, kids, boss, I'm a gonna go bust out some MTB riding in the Alps!"

    Please send pics, as I'll never get a hall pass.
    LOL ...

    Well, the wife will be there riding her 5 Spot.

  10. #10
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    Not quite switserland (although on the horizon it could be).

    Alpine riding in France (les deux alpes)

    Greetz
    bettes
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Nice picture Bettes,

    Is this the black track at the side of le take away? You know where you can eat pancakes and stuff.

    Nybike 1971: You have to see verbier. It is a lovely place to ride. From there you can go to the border of France and ride in the area portes du soleil. There you find all kind of trails with a lot of chairlifts.

  12. #12
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    Trail teasers


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staffan
    That's a great link! Thank you.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971
    That's a great link! Thank you.
    Luca, you gonna take your camera?
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  15. #15
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    Zermatt is a village without cars (only electrocars) a lot intenational tourism, especially climbers for Matterhorn ^ . I found nice panorama at Gornergrat (not a long way from Zermatt). I went up by bike and down i took the train



    http://gallery.mtbr.com/showgallery..../ppuser/475372
    Last edited by stan08; 04-07-2010 at 10:55 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy66
    Nice picture Bettes,
    Is this the black track at the side of le take away? You know where you can eat pancakes and stuff.
    We rode it during the freeraid classic so the exact location is kind of blurry. But I know it's on the other side of the valley from the gletcher and at the bottom you enter "la village"

    greetz
    bettes

  17. #17
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    I'm going back to Verbier for a 3rd year in August.

    Here are some photos from the 2009 trip:

    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/callum...53935101139298

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyquist
    I'm going back to Verbier for a 3rd year in August.

    Here are some photos from the 2009 trip:

    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/callum...53935101139298
    Look weird without snow!

    My mates out there skiing now :-(

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyquist
    I'm going back to Verbier for a 3rd year in August.

    Here are some photos from the 2009 trip:

    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/callum...53935101139298
    Great photos, Callum!

    Do you have any specific trail recommendations?

  20. #20
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    Unfortunately people call different trails different names, so it makes things difficult. The main bike park consists of about 4 different DH runs down from the main Les Ruinettes lift station at 2200m. These are ok, but of course the best stuff is away from these main tracks. Traversing left of right from the LR lift opens up your options, as does going over the back of the main mountain and linking up with the other lift stations.
    As someone else mentioned above, where ever you end up riding, try and get yourself a local or a guide to ride with to ensure you make the most of your time.

    And make sure you post photos of your trip!

    (PS - was it you I bought the RP3 off a couple of years back for my Flux?)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971
    Obviously, places like Champery come to mind, and we will probably take a trip to the Portes du Soleil.
    Champery is part of Portes Du Soleil, you can get over to Morzine/Les Gets on a couple of chair lifts and a bit of riding.

  22. #22
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    Euro Homer

    Well biking in Switzerland involves your checkbook, or at least plenty of cash on hand. It's really expensive!!! I've lived in Germany now for three years and have spent some time exploring the Alps by bike and by hiking. The biking is somewhat disappointing. There is very little singletrack outside of the bike parks. If you ride the hiking trails which is Ok in some countries and not OK in others they can be fun or just plain hike a bike. You really need a guide to get the most out of riding in the alps. There are not many maps, and what you buy are really bad. In Switzerland, near Grindelwald, the "singletrack" map was 25 dollars and had about four singletrack trails on it. I would head straight for the Portes Du Soleil region and stay in France to save a few bucks, this place has killer riding for a five inch bike. Try those guides that someone posted earlier as you will find this to be most helpful. Another area that interested me was Chamonix. Here is a link to guide service that has everything included. Maybe I'll hit this up when I return as an old man!

    http://www.mbmb.co.uk/

    Oh yeah! How could I forget Livigno, Italy. This place rocked. This had the best alpine single track that I have ridden in my three years in Germany. Although if your limited on time, I'd still head to Port Du Soleil as this has the most singletrack.

  23. #23
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    I'd say

    Don't worry about too much time in Switzerland. We did the Alta Rezia freeride tour, (self assisted) two summers ago, guideless, and were really happy with the Italy riding. The best parts of the trip actually. The problem is now, telling you the names of the places. We rode with a shuttle driver way the heck up to some place and he dropped us off. 20 euros for over an hour shuttle ride up to 8000ft. We hiked/biked another 2000ft and had a riot heading into another town.We spent 10 days on this stuff, and weren't lost or felt like we needed direction. Everything you hit there is amazing. The bike park in Livigno is crap compared to Whistler. We spent a day there and I wish we'd had spent it riding somewhere else. The manicured runs weren't flowy or exciting and the downhill tech was loose rock and mud/grass. Definitely worth missing for the other rides in that area. You can pick up maps, take lifts up, and ride trails into other towns. Just arrange for other means back to your camp/car/hotel. Actually, If I had to give one last piece of advice. Don't take a vehicle at all. take enough food to last a day. You will always run into another town that you can find a place to stay. Take lifts/shuttles up, ride the single track down into new towns. That's what I'd do if I had to do it again. Fer Sure. My 5 spot was a superstar bike on all of that stuff. DOn't take a downhill rig. I had a buddy on one and he was miserable most days because of the uphill sections, or anytime we had to ride 6+ miles to the next place. 5 spot was plenty with the seat down and handlebars on a few spacers.

    Good luck dude.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  24. #24
    Bikes are good
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    We did this

    Without paying guides. Spend your money on beer and hotels, and women, if you must.

    http://www.hansrey.com/newtrip/Alta%...ide%20Tour.htm
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  25. #25
    trail fairy
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    Love it, would be awesome to get up there with the DHR and Maxxis

    Great scenery, keep dem picc's a coming
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

    MAXXIS 4C!
    Helmet for your neck

    Leatt FAQs


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