Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's that coming over the hill?

Spent all winter season looking out of the chalet balcony over to the right and the untracked snow on the Pointe de Ressachaux, with the weather muchos sunny and clear we decided it was time to get up it.

Good lord are we not there yet?
pointe de Ressachaux

Drove partly up the road to the Prodain lift to the bottom of the trail, by this time the peak was out of sight behind a blind summit and the tree line.

All I can say about the trail is I have never walked up such an unrelenting gradient, literally from the foot of the road at 1050m the trail rose to 1800m and the tiny refuges at Le Creux without any let up. It was difficult to even find somewhere to put your bag and get a drink.

Top looking down
looking down back into the valley

Going Down
you can't see where the trail goes, because it goes DOWN

Just waiting to tackle Pointe de Nantaux as you look out of the chalet and look left, looks like there's a pretty fearsome ridge to contend with in addition to 3 hours of gruelling uphill slog, sweet!

catered and self catered holidays in the french alps

It's Alive!!

Having ridden with Dave and John over the previous week, this weekend was the Pass Portes du Soliel and the whole area has literally exploded in life. Walked past the Super Morzine queue, must have been at least 3/4hour long!!

Didn't get a chance to ride becuase of the lift queues and having to get over to Samoens, but nice to see everything come to life at last. All hte big names had tents and stands set out in front of the tourist office.

Bike bike
Gateway to bike central

mmm shiny new bits I can't afford!!

yikes, trikes, quike?
Yikes a trike? nay, a quike!?! Actually for Yohan our next door neighbour, handicaped downhill a go go!

catered and self catered holidays in the french alps

Monday, June 29, 2009


After a weeks riding, you soon want to be back on it, so we were supposed to meet Mr Bowles at Chicksands, but he couldn't make it, so we sweated it out instead...

Great stuff all round except for the absolute lunatic who roped off a trail to dig a jump. The problem was that he literally just roped it off between two trees with a very non visable brown rope and a few dangly bits on it. A guy who'd been running the trail all day hit it airbourne at full tilt and could have actually decapitated himself - he was really lucky not to be seriously hurt. Keep it safe out there.

Jon wasn't feeling it at first as he doesn't like to session stuff too much, but he was soon grinning and we had a good ride. I got the one hander out again and would like to point out that I did about 20 in a row and lots bigger than the shot below, but Jon couldn't force the fuji's slow assed shutter to coincide. Heres a small one anyway...




Freeride light.


Morzine and Les Gets 09

Our mini trip out to see Chris and take some shots was, quite frankly, awesome!

Our flight out was early and after several hours packing up my new ride the night before, I was impressed with just how tidily Jon had managed to pack his - Marzocchi fork bag helps here, no doubt.

Anyway, bleary eyed, we took off giving me that early morning adrenaline kick, as I'm becoming a worse flyer... Touch down was sweet and soon I was embarrassing us by getting the trolley stuck in the arrivals door exit whilst people openly laughed at me, great what a start. We were sped up the hill by Skiidy Gonzales transfers, nice, and soon rebuilding our bikes at the chalet garage at Chalet Claire Matin (Chris and Kate's awesome chalet - www.mountainspaces.com)

We got straight into it and not knowing exactly what was open in terms of lifts, got straight up Pleney and rode down it a few times!


After a few runs and a bit of thought, we popped over to Les Gets, knowing that its down hill on the road, if Chevannes wasn't open, but it was, so a quick introductory before cruising home on the crappy inter resort trail and into Monty's for a beer, before C&K arrived early, from work.


The next few days saw a bit if rain and then scorchio sun, so we had the full range of trail conditions from sopping and greasy to dusty on the last two days. Chris was able to get out every day in the mornings and we had all of Tuesday riding and Kate made an appearance too!


Mt Chery, Pleney and Chevannes were all that were running , but that really didn't hinder things as we had an absolute blast and would have to say, rode reasonably quickly, not being overtaken by anyone. How Chris manages to ride his hardtail with dj forks and still be reasonably quick is beyond me, he's going to have arthritis.

Dave about to use up the suspension on Mt Chery.


Jon and Chris on the 4x.

Little wall ride on the green run back into Les Gets.

The trails were excellent this year and didn't suffer too badly from braking bumps, due to the early season, which was great! Some really nice additions to the Chevannes run made it the most fun for me, whilst Jon was digging the steep shoots of Mt Chery and riding them fast - I couldn't keep up and was permanently in his dust cloud...
We stopped off a few times for some filming and photos and generally had an excellent time. The only problem was that I kept on destroying bits to do with my rear mech and really noticed how vulnerable the long cage version that came fitted to the Remedy is - new short cage will be fitted. Apart from that, the odd puncture and breaking a spoke on a particularly large step down, we were pretty good and the Remedy proved that its not only light but a real propper all mountain bike.

Chris in the park on Chevannes.

This hip would be awesome if it had a lip...

Sunset over St Jean d"Aulpes.

catered and self catered holidays in the french alps

Friday, June 26, 2009

3 lift wonder.

Just got back last night from our little sojourn in St Jean d'Aulpes with Chris and Kate, so here are some atmos shots before I do a post with all the rad pics on it!


Nice view from the top of Mt Chery.


Lift gurning.

Chris and Kate's seriously nice pad.


Gritty hard tail action.

catered and self catered holidays in the french alps

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dorset Climb

I drove down to Pompey on Friday arvo, to take advantage of Daryl's flexi time and we headed straight over the Sandbanks ferry, picking up a court summons, to start a very wierd 24 hours...

We'd planned to do a spot of sport climbing at Winspit, bivvy at the crag and then carry on early o'clock the next day. This started well, with a bit of a leaden sky and some rain dodging, we managed to get a few nice routes in before feeling the fatigue and finding a nice 'cave witha view' for cooking up some din dins!



We then toddled off up to the pub for a few ciders and crossed paths with a group of people coming down. We duly carried on and enjoyed the atmosphere at the pub and the Morris men all getting drunk. We then headed back down, only to find that the group of people that we'd met on the way up were a group of Poles from London, having a party, so we were offered vodka and joined in!


Several hours later and after we'd promised half of Poland that we'd teach them to sport climb, we dug our bags out of their excellent hiding spot and bivvied down, somewhat ready for bed. The next day I felt awful (stomach bug, not hang over, well maybe a bit) and could hardly walk, let alone climb, so after a few aborted attempts, I gave over to belay only, whilst Daryl dug deep and did an excellent route to finish - probably the best he's done outdoors - and only completed because there were people watching.

I was so ill that I had to stop driving on my way home and it knocked me out for the entire weekend. Still don't feel 100%. What did help was a four hour ride yesterday where I really did get to grips with the new Trek. I'm LOVING it!

Daryl on the newly bolted route. Excellent!

Oh, remember that its CASH ONLY on the sandbanks ferry and don't point out to the jobsworth that you can use a card for any amount anywhere these days...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Beast is BACK!

Thats right, back on the bike!!!


After much deliberation, price ups on Santa Cruz Nomads and general can I, can't I, I bit the bullet and managed to buy an 08 Trek Remedy 8, which my LBS had been using as their demo - but had only been out a handful of rides. As a result, I'm really pleased as I have an awsome and very fast steed again!


The Gerbil gets airbourne...

The new Bombers are prime for this stuff.

Jon has been building up his sweet little Stinky in prep for our four day Alpine assault next week, and getting in the practice down at Woburn when he's not been working. Very nice the build is looking too, with some nice new hope hubs and brakes, its mostly complete. Fast too, Jon put me to shame on the trails he's been running and neither of us can wait to get out to see Chris. BOOOYAAA!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Edinburgh Marathon 2009 and we all made it!!!

Here's a sneaky pic but I will do a proper post next week as I am hectic at the mo! Thanks for the pic Amy!xx