A superb track riding from Chamonix to Zermatt through a number of beautiful areas. We can shorten this trip to suit fit, fast riders. We can also adjust the days to allow more time for playing on the many awesome descents en route. Email us for an itinerary specific to your group.
Arrive Argentiere. Settle in and check bikes over. Meet guides and briefing for the trip.
Ride to Col de Forclaz. After a fun descent off the Col, a mixed on and off road climb takes us to the base of the gondola ride up to Verbier. We take the cable car up to 2,222m before climbing the remaining 300m on double track to our stunning over night stop at Cabane du Mont Fort. The sunsets here will take your breath away, as will the panoramic views from the Petit Combin to Mont Blanc to the Dents du Midi. 50km approx. 1800m descent. 1250m ascent. 6 hours.
Today is arguably the toughest day of the trip, certainly the longest in distance. From Cabane du Mont Fort we descend back to 2,222m on single and double track. A traverse to the top of the Croix de Coeur at 2174m is followed by a fabulous descent on rocky, rooty and swooping singletrack. We will do three climbs today, mostly on forest track with some road and singletrack. We get a helping hand to avoid a fourth climb with a chair lift, directly after lunch, where we are rewarded by a switch back descent through pine forests on rarely ridden, technical singletrack.
The last climb before our overnight stop at Evolene will be the toughest. 650m on road and dirt track up through forest and alpine pasture before an exciting traverse on technical singletrack with beautiful views to our left, followed by a fast descent into the town. Evolene is a picturesque rural Valais town which has retained all of its traditional alpine charm. 75km approx. 2,400m descent. 1,950m ascent. 8.5 hours.
The big one today, a double pass day, and we start early as we tackle the Col and Basset de Lona at 2787m and 2792m respectively – the highest points we shall reach on this trip. The route up is mostly rideable on double dirt track and then singletrack but the final section will involve some pushing or carrying. Spectacular views from the top all the way back to Mont Blanc and the Grand Combin we left a few days ago. It gives a great sense of achievement seeing how far we have come. The descent is fast and again spectacular as we approach the lovely turquoise water of Lac de Moiry.
We continue our seemingly endless descent towards Grimentz on varied, fun singletrack where we break for coffee and cake and a rest for the brake pads. A lovely forested singletrack descent to our overnight stop outside of Grimentz. Suitably exhausted but having done the hardest two days we now can rest assured it all gets a little easier tomorrow. 40km approx. 1,950m descent. 1,750m ascent. 9 hours.
Today is an easy day, but we still have to ride and climb up quite a big hill! We have the choice of a road or off-road climb followed by an optional funicular train ride up to our over night stop in Tignousa. Here we can spend the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the views or visiting the spectacular Hotel Weisshorn which has a wonderful location perched high above the valley. There is a bike park here so we have the option of riding one of the many single track descents which twist their way down the mountain (500m descent), and then get a ride up the funicular again!
From Tignousa we will receive our first views of the Matterhorn, hidden again until we reach the Zermatt valley. 20km approx. 1000m descent (depends how much playing you do in the park). 1000m ascent. 3 hours.
Another big pass on Jamie’s favourite day crossing over the Illhorn at 2,552m. Depending on how you’re feeling there is chance to take a chair lift assisted route, otherwise it’s a climb on dirt track before a short push on technical singletrack and a narrow traverse to the Col itself. It’s another double pass day with a technical descent followed by a 25 minute push to our highest point of the day.
From here follows an awesome, uninterrupted 1,300m descent split into three distinct sections; the first is fast, high alpine with big views, the second and hardest section forms the start of our descent into the trees with boulder-strewn switchbacks, the final section in the woods is the best by far with corner after corner taking us down steeply through the trees – 58 switchbacks at the last count! Taken as a whole the descent will test some riders to their limits but the first and last sections should be almost 100% rideable for every one. You will have to go a long way to find a better descent than this!
After a short road climb there follows yet more descent, on fast and flowing singletrack through woodland. Another short road climb drops us onto yet more great riding and brings us back to the very edge of the Rhone valley and our overnight stop at one of the best hotels en route with a pump track out the back! 35km approx. 2,270m descent. 1,200m ascent. 8 hours.
Today we say goodbye to the Rhone as we turn the corner into the Zermatt valley, ever closer to our final destination. We start the day with some lift assisted fun to take advantage of a beautiful pine needle single track descent that runs right down to the valley floor. Another lift takes us back up above our overnight stop and from there we climb 400m to the top of Moosalp, where the views are breathtaking.
After lunch here we have a choice of fantastic descents. There is a more exposed technical descent, which is outstanding, and takes us directly down to our overnight stop. The easier option is a varied trail through beautiful alpine villages which cling to the valley side and more of those never ending switch backs, finishing with a short climb to our overnight stop. Here we receive a warm welcome provided by our good friends in Hotel La Reserve in St Niklaus. The hotel is run by a member of one of the oldest mountaineering families in the area, the Pollingers. The modern day Pollingers also make an excellent pizza! 33km approx. 2,000m descent. 900m ascent. 6 hours.
A fitting end to our trip we head up the valley on cycle trails by the river and marvel at the height of the mountains surrounding us – the Weisshorn, the Briethorn, the Dom and of course the Matterhorn. Once in Zermatt we have the choice of several cable cars and funicular trains to take us up to a high view point for breathtaking, stunning views of the Matterhorn. Whichever option we choose we’ll find the perfect spot for lunch and a celebratory photoshoot. The descents back into Zermatt are superb.
As if the day couldn’t get any better, the jewel in the crown is an excellent singletrack route back to St Niklaus which gives a magical end to this classic route. 52km approx. 2,000m descent. 700m ascent. 7.5 hours.
Departure day from St Niklaus back to Geneva airport. You need to make sure you book an afternoon or evening flight otherwise you won’t make it back to the airport in time.