Sunday, August 21, 2011

Me and the bros ride Chatel!

Not much to say really. I was on it that day. Yeah right!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alpine Highs, well almost...

Way back in June, Daryl and I snuck west for one of our signature 'stack it high, enjoy it cheap' weekends. We've not been back to Snowdon together since our little accident there and it was time to go back with a bang and tick off one the 'must do's' of mountain biking. Finter, who has been climbing loads recently, also wanted to redpoint the whole country, so the climbing bags were added to the bike kit and camping gear.

We'd settled on camping at Llyn Gwynant, where neither of us had stayed before. The main reason behind this was that it allowed us to do a mother of a loop from the campsite, up to Pen Y Pass and then down to the Llanberis pass where the sloggin would begin.

Clear and crisp night.

Having arrived just after midnight, we were up and out by 5:30 the next morning, shivering in the frost (yes frost - it had even snowed higher up!). Campsite completely dead except for the early morning wee wee crowd, its a nice feeling, knowing you are getting the jump on everyone and you'll have the views and mountain to yourself fro a bit.

Llyn Gwynant.

We stopped on the way to Pen Y Pass as the view of our objective was bathed in beautiful light and the stillness was incredible.


We were able to spot our fall spot from here and it was nice to be back in much better conditions.



We set off soon after and started the climb up to Pen Y Pass, before the great free wheel down past all the classic climbing that nestles deep in the Llanberis pass and soon found the start of the LLanberis pass, our chosen climb.

This was when we realised that our early start wouldn't yeild an empty mountain as we passed probably 50 people coming down in dribs and drabs, doing the three peaks challenge! Many surprised at the sight of the bikes and lots of happy encouragement as they paced the last of their steps on the last mountain.

It was on the up that the weather started to close in and we entered the rain and fog.




Jackets on, and a quick look at the scenery before the real climbing starts. We had done a bit of pushing through difficult sections, but now it really started to get going. There were some sections where all you could do was push or carry the bike and we were both cursing the up. We like going down!

Anyway. We made it and it was a slag. I was happy.

Basically, I was delirious and needed a twix.

We headed to the cafe. WAHT!? I hear you cry, Yes, dry and warm and full of cake and coffee, it was. Bloody lovely. Shame about the window all down one size, it could have been a white wall, but it hit the spot in there and I can remember the old cafe from a trip when I was a teenager, and it is definitely nicer!!

Fuelled on stuff, we headed back out into the cold, damp, fog. The fog made the top half of the descent interesting as it was quite thick, but within a few minutes we'd broken out of it and we were starting to run flat out. The Ranger path proved to be a very good choice!

The downhill went in an absolute blurrrrrr! I have to say, we were pretty pleased with our ride and hit everything flat out and on site with the exception of two sections that were definitely unrideable unless you are called Gee or Peaty.

The scenery was awesome and we stopped for a few quick shots en route.

The view of our route up from the Ranger path.


The bad part was we rode some of the most demanding stuff and were having such a good time, didn't stop to shoot it!


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Classic. With I'd shot it a fraction earlier, but this sums up the route down...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Via F*^$%ing-hell-eratta but not so much II

New routes in St Jean, not as scary as the other one near Annecy but well worth doing especially as they're at the bottom of the road. May take the scary thing back after I do the harder on next time. Carrying a little holiday weight does however add to the danger factor.

The new routes are open in St Jean D'Aulps just 10 mins drive from the centre of Morzine. I've posted climbing pics on our blog before but this was the first outing for the new via routes.

There are two new routes, the Elephants Head and the Elephants Eye Graded French ED and D+

Details of both routes on on the Topo guide available from the tourist office in the village.

The walk in from the road in to Bas Thex is easy to miss with a tiny sign on the right of the road about 50m from the car park at the Abbey Cemetery. It's about a 15min walk in through the woods and the two routes depart from the same spot.

There are two points apart from the start and finish where you can swap between the two routes if one is proving too hard or too easy.

There not the longest of routes but combined with the amount of climbing available on the face lower down the rock it's definitely worth checking out.

Once we've conquered the harder Elephants eye I'll get some more pictures up, hopefully with the sun shinning as well!

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Topo guides for the sport climbing are available from the Tabac in the village opposite Bar Le National

Mountain Spaces
Catered and Self Catered Chalets and Apartments

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Woburn chest cam.

First time on the bike in nearly a month. Went for an xc loop to wake my lungs up, then ended up doing a few downhill runs with my xc wheels and lid on, for extra danger.

Cam a bit low, but keeping Charlie honest on his session!

More Mountain Biking Videos

Congrats Gavin and Jen!

Well done everyone, my liver is now properly done. Amazing time in France and great to see the two of you married at last! Hope you are enjoying a well earned break in Bali and relaxing...

All our love. The IBFC massive and associates!