If you're a mountain biker itching to get to the alps, 2021 is turning out to be about as much fun as a bath of hamsters (depends what you're into maybe), but the pandemic hasn't stopped the track builders of the Portes du Soleil cracking on with the continual levelling up of our amazing network of trails.
Every corner of the PDS has been getting some attention and thanks to actually living here and being able to get up into the hills, we've been able to get out to speak to the builders and even test some of the features. We're in for a good summer folks! It's not unfair to say this is one one of the better pre-seasons on record and despite the abysmal weather, work continues apace and we expect to see some more fireworks.
From long over due 4-cross make overs to a new World Cup track, we're pretty pumped to get this thing started! Read on for all the news.
The Avoriaz MTB crew continue to raise the bar each summer with some awesome new additions. These guys work long into Autumn to get a head start on the summer prep, so the trails are already looking prime.
Cap Canaveral, the blue jump line famous for the widow maker table top, is getting a big reshape. The hip jump and widow maker itself is out of commission for the moment, Avoriaz MTB have some BIG plans for you, the widow maker has been taken off the main line, and is now a separate feature, probably for the best...next to it the team at Avoriaz MTB have put in a brand new jump line, with multiple features, check it out!
These guys never stop pushing. This side of the hill is set for it's best ever year in 2021!
This summer we'll see a new start to the Hattock black line on the Zore side of the hill. In the past riders would use the start of blue Tutti Frutti or the red DA Trail to get to the start of Hattock, originally a locals only track built by Alex Evams and co back in the day. Now starting from the very top of the slope riders encounter natural loam and roots, connected by some sculpted berms, then a big old road gap step down, huge right hand berm and a big double. Getting a bit more technical and steep after this before hooking into the original Hattock line which is seeing some meaty rebuilding.
The huge hip will return, and we expect to see afew more tweaks and reshapes before the Super Morzine opens full time on June 19th after the initial opening for the weekend 11th -13th June.
Wow these guys have been BUSY! Les Gets have been putting the effort in over the last few years no doubt, but for this summer some new additions to their shaper crew, and the added fire in the belly from the return of the World Cup means these guys are out to impress you this summer.
First up mainline, the bumpiest ride in all the Portes du Soleil, has an all new series of jumps in the lower half of the top section, where the cow jump used to be. Building on some of the work from last year the table tops have grown in size and the lips have had a nice reshape for plenty of hang time.
At the bottom of the hill, the jump park is it's most ambitious yet, looking like a cross between a mini slopestyle line and a supercross track there will be some spectacles to see from the lift watching riders take it on, we'll need to get Judge Judy in to sort out the cases the first few weeks for sure!
The World Cup track is new aswell. Loosely based on the P2V Invitational, but with some notable additions this beast will be a highlight for the riders no doubt. It's steep, raw, off camber, natural and fast, real fast. In typical French style they've left alot to nature, clearing the woods and they'll tape wide. It runs parallel to Dans Le Gaz in the middle, before dropping steep and tech again, finishing on a brand new motorway table top section.
Though unconfirmed, this track, or at least parts of it, will be rideable after the race, a first for the World Cup in Les Gets as on the old track, the farmers take the land back post race and riding it is not possible.
We had been told to expect afew surprises this summer from Le Pleney, though those plans have been put on hold, there is still plenty to get excited about for the regions most iconic hill. First the new jumps and reshape of the top of the red line, shaped by Romain Paulhan, these new doubles are sure to get the blood pumping, in full view of the telecabine they'll be a hot spot for action!
The Pleney crew usually do start late so major upgrades before the summer are unlikely, though we have spied afew berms getting shaped up and mainline is running as rapid as ever. You can't one up perfection, between the official tracks, the steep gnarm the super fast lift and the wild locals trails Pleney will always be king of the mountains for those wanting to get rowdy on the downhill bike.
Check out the full revamped red run below!
IN OTHER NEWS- PUMPTRACK!
No doubt you've heard, but a purpose built, permanent pumptrack is coming to the valley. Long overdue this will hopefully be a good incentive for Morzine to bring one in aswell, with plenty of locals such as Chablais Bike working hard to make this happen.
So yes, this new pumptrack is not in Morzine, it's 10 minutes drive down the road in St Jean D'Aulps. You could easily ride there from Morzine, along the Dereches trail, though probably not the most fun on a single speed dirt jumper or BMX.
The track features 3 lines, beginner, intermediate and advanced, all separated to keep traffic jams to a minimum. Should keep the scooter kids happy and give the local skate crew a chance to breath in the skate park back in Morzine. Onwards and upwards!
Wherever you are reading this from, we hope you can make it out to PDS at some point this summer to get buck wild with your crew, explore the back country or tick off that must jump checklist. If it doesn't happen, don't sweat it, these developments are just that, developments in an ongoing mission to make Morzine and the surrounding resorts the sickest place to ride your bike and we know 2022 will be even better!