Sunday, August 21, 2011

Update from our Swiss DH trip.

Guide Stephen Matthews tells us how it's going from the Swiss Alps:

We’ve had an incredible week in the Alps for our first Alpenrock DH trip of the year. Non-stop sunshine, big descents, and later afternoon lake swims! Everyday has been a huge success of vertical breaking numbers and extremely happy people!
Looking out from Verbier towards Chamonix, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Verbier and area has been incredible this season! Lots of work has gone into the trails, and the tracks are all as exciting as ever. Some overnight rain this week has kept the dirt in primo condition! The trail crew (I believe there are only 2) have done an incredible job building the new technical black trail, Wooooah, a trail full of technical rock features and gnarly steeps! I was first shown this trail in early August by local rider, Ludo May, and who’s currently racing for Norco bikes. Ludo is a great teacher, you follow his lines and his speed, and things generally work out...
 The guys having some fun on the La Vallee Express, one of the more daunting descents of the whole valley!
Bike parks are great for banging out laps, but the backcountry epics are what draw me back to Switzerland. Big Mountain has plotted out some of the biggest backcountry descents accessible by shuttle for the Alpenrock DH trips, and they are all combined to make one of my favourite days on the trip. I won’t give you the locations, but see what your mind stirs up with names like “Rolling Orgy and Pet Cemetary”
The trail ends at the Lake, 1500m below! Some call the trail “Racine”, I call it “Awesome”
The Val de Bagnes has become my home away from home. The Hotel La Vallee in Lourtier is one of the most hospitable and comfortable places I’ve ever been. Every morning is an array of delicious breakfasts, and every evening I’m presented with various traditional Swiss entrees. I love sharing the riding experiences we have in Switzerland with everyone, so stay tuned for more updates this month!

Here’s a quick edit from the week I put together. It’s all done on the new Contour HD helmet cam! I’m not much for editing, but who is after a week of this much riding!?

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