Post by Mary on January 2, 2022
Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had a fun festive season and that you’re ready for some new adventures in 2022. Jamie and I have been reflecting on our best mountain bike rides of 2021 so we thought we’d share them with you here.
Three of Jamie’s best mountain bike rides of 2021:
1) On a trip. Heli biking in Zermatt at the end of our Chamonix to Zermatt trip. On the ride up to Zermatt the group stopped to watch the Air Zermatt helicopters take off and land. One of the pilots waved them over for a closer look. They got talking and showed Jamie how they can transport sports equipment up the mountain, including bikes! In a moment of revelation Jamie suggested they take the bikes to the top of the Rotthorn in the helicopters. Everyone was up for it and 10 minutes later and 40 chf lighter, they arrived! So much quicker, a lot more exciting and no more expensive than the cable car. The group was buzzing from the experience and it was the perfect end to a fantastic trip. To be repeated during your Chamonix to Zermatt experience?
2) Family ride. (For accomplished riders) The hidden singletrack of Moosalp provided the best family ride of the year for us. When we were out hiking we found a secret entrance to a barely-used trail. We cleared some undergrowth, repaired an old bridge over a stream and returned the next day with the bikes. Flowing, fun singletrack that is so rarely-used the pine needles lie undisturbed is like the holy grail for mountain bikers, and this is what we had found. The trail has some rocky and rooty sections and a few obstacles to keep it interesting but mostly it’s smooth, perfect singletrack. The views at the start and the end of the trail are the kind of stunning that we have become accustomed to in the Swiss Valais. They are unceasingly beautiful. This is just one of several great trails in Moosalp that we rode that day. We all finished with big smiles on our faces and no tears were shed, which for a family day out is a major success! You can ride these trails during our Chamonix to Zermatt and Alpine Enduro trips.
3) In a couple. For Jamie’s birthday we had 2 nights away in the Aosta valley to explore some Italian singletrack. We found a lot of great trails but in terms of a complete day out, the ride to Refuge Fallere was the best. The ride up from the road head on dirt track is a ride-able gradient and actually very enjoyable. As you approach the refuge there are beautiful wooden carvings of everything from wolves to chamois to Roman soldiers, which, together with the scenery, distract you from the effort. Fallere is one of the most beautiful refuges I’ve ever visited. It’s a masterpiece of construction. We had a delicious Italian lunch, soaking up the big mountain views before continuing on our way. The middle section of the ride isn’t always perfect biking. There’s some pushing and a couple of exposed sections. However you stay up high with the wonderful views and there are enough good sections to make it very worthwhile. The descent is long, varied and steep in places. Again, maybe not perfect singletrack but overall a lot of fun. A proper high alpine day out on two wheels. Check it out on our Aosta Explorer trip this year.
And just for the sake of balance, we’re sharing Jamie’s worst day on the bike too. In September he guided Ben around the Tour du Mont Blanc in some extremely challenging weather conditions. Overall they had a great trip with a lot of fantastic days of riding. Unfortunately the worst of the weather coincided with the longest, toughest day. For 4 and a half hours they had to pedal, push and carry for 1,200m up and over the Col de Bonhomme in torrential rain and almost freezing temperatures. Not an experience Jamie would like to share with you in 2022. Although the refueling afterwards almost made up for it!
We hope you can join us for one of our best mountain bike rides this year. Until then, happy pedaling!