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Ref CY56

Mountain bike FranceCHAMONIX TO ZERMATT High alpine mtb riding from the Mont Blanc to the Cervin

Welcome to what is surely one of the greatest MTB tours! A superb high alpine point-to-point route between the towns of Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland. Panoramic views of the surrounding 4000 metre peaks, high mountain cols, superb and seemingly endless singletrack, idyllic alpine pastures, wooden chalets, rich alpine forests and plenty of chamois and marmots along the way...  Day 3 follows the footsteps of the famous “Grand Raid Cristalp”. We climb the Gornergrat (3089 m), which offers us a unique panorama of the surrounding peaks (Dufourspitze, Castor, Pollux, Breithorn...). The final descent to Zermatt, opposite the Cervin (4478m), is a superb finale to an unforgettable week!

Guided version: from 1395€ - DetailsSelf-guided version: from 1155€ - Details Duration : 8 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 0 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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Highlights

  • One of the great alpine MTB challenges!
  • A France Bike Trips tailor-made itinerary, with input from local riders who know the trails off by heart (a big thank you to Patrick and Sylvain!).
  • Amazing singletrack descents and traverses…
  • A day of riding on the route of the famous Grand Raid Cristalp, known for its beautiful landscapes and superb alpine trails…
  • The climb to the top of the Gornegrat (3089 m) for an unforgettable descent at the foot of the mythical Cervin.

Description

Comments

  • This tour is ideal for experienced mountain bikers, with good fitness and who are at ease on technical singletrack. If in doubt, don't hesitate to call us for a chat.
  • Special offers available for private groups or custom tours. Please contact us for a quote.

Day 1: Chamonix - Les Marécottes (Switzerland)

Itinerary start: Rendezvous with organization team is fixed on day 1 at 1pm in Chamonix. On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Chamonix. Airport transfers to and from Geneva airport are available on request.

We start on our bikes from Chamonix, at the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc. We head deep into the valley which takes us to Tour Village, while passing by the foot of the moraine of the Argentiere glacier. From the balcony path in the forest, we see appear the massif of the Aiguilles Rouges, some 2,000 m higher up. From this standpoint, we still feel quite small... Arrived at the hamlet of Tour, we take La Balme cable car which propels us up to Balme pass, some 1,200 m higher up. We start one of our first mythical downhill, riding through various vegetation's steps, from pastures to forests of larch trees and finally spruce trees. Already a dreamy single track with view on the Massif of Aiguilles Rouges and the Dam Lake Emosson. We reach the bottom of a deep valley (we are now in Switzerland without having noticed it!). We then regain altitude by a little narrow road… very steep by the way… We are now on a balcony path above the valley, with a wonderful view on the Trient Glacier. Night in a typical Swiss mountain village.

  • Distance: approx. 40 km 
  • Altitude gain: 800 m 
Day 2: Les Marécottes - Martigny - La Tzoumaz 

We begin our day by following "La Piste des Diligences". This route was created in the mid-nineteenth century to help the transport of stagecoach passengers from the valley of Martigny to Chamonix. Strategically, the route was built to avoid rushing mountain streams and the bottom of steep valleys… therefore the balcony road we can benefit from… The dive into the Valley of Martigny is swirling. You almost expect to see a stagecoach on each turn! A small flat and wooded single track leads to Martigny, thee city we cross, before we set off on the longest climb of the trip: 1800 vertical meters passing through two intermediate small passes. Subsequently, all vegetation levels appear: starting with vineyards and orchards of apricot and apple trees, followed by forests of spruce and larch dotted with clearings and cottages, then shrubs, approaching the final crest, at the foot of the rocky tooth of Pierre Avoi, then short grass at the top of the climb. The last 200m require to carry our bike (which is welcome to change a bit the posture!..) Dazzling panorama on the imposing ice mass of Grand Combin (the Mont Blanc seems very small next to him...), the Dents du Midi, the Rhone Valley... We reach another balcony path with a technical descent on single track through the pastures. View on the famous ski resort of Verbier. On a flat path, we reach Croix de Coeur Pass from where we dive into our hotel in la Tzoumaz with beautiful panorama on the Alpine chain.

  • Distance: approx. 50 km 
  • Altitude gain: 2000 m (hike-a-bike included) 
  • Hike-a-bike: approx. 200m (approx. 30 min)
Day 3: La Tzoumaz - Essertze (Heremence Valley)

Here begins the famous mountain bike race "Verbier - Grimentz" or "Grand Raid Cristalp". We will ride on portions of its route today and tomorrow, including many more interesting variants on the way… After a climb to La Mine Pass, we offer us a superb descent on single track to the bottom of La Fare Valley. Here begins a piece of anthology of our raid: we ride on an endless flat small single track following a "Bisse", an ancestral irrigation canal in the Alps. This was a job… We then regain altitude by a trail through meadows with huge larches (among the largest in Europe) and traditional chalets. Postcard pictures… As if it were already a tradition, the day ends with carrying our bike for about twenty minutes to reach Mont Rouge Pass. Again unforgettable: exceptional view before embarking on a perfect single track which follows the ridgeline that separates the valleys of Nendaz and Heremence. We then literally dive toward the latter, dominated with small mountain lakes. The rest is just magic, riding down on a single track as fast as possible through the pastures. Unforgettable in the life of a biker, the icing on the cake: a shelter worthy of "Little House on the Prairie", all of stones and wood,  dominating the valley. This cottage is both a refuge and a mountain chalet. To date, we're not sure you can have a shower tonight (it's the only day of the week), but we try to find a solution (small portable shower).

  • Distance: approx. 45 km 
  • Altitude gain: 1600 m (hike-a-bike included) 
  • Hike-a-bike: approx. 150 m (approx. 20 min)
Day 4: Essertze - La Sage (Herens Valley)

The day starts in a blaze of glory with a descent on single track trail that passes through a beautiful spruce forest. Some parts look similar to a natural bobsleigh track... The "mayens" (small typical chalets) in ruins attest to the pastoral activities of yesterday. We reach the river of Dixence and begin our ascent to the alp of Mandelon. Many herds of Herens cows create a nice atmosphere with their bells... Our efforts are rewarded by a superb narrow little track in balcony which brings us, as if by magic, from Heremence Valley to Herens Valley. Suddenly, amazement: we see the mighty Dent Blanche (4357 m)... A pyramid that sits majestically enthroned at the end of Herens Valley, rising from the glaciers. A nice single track ahead through pastures and larches, first switchback, then downhill. Another ascent to reach to the small mountain lake of Arbey. This gem is nestled in a small grassy bowl like in a postcard: pastures, traditional chalets, jagged peaks, glaciers, rocky peaks, ridges... Everything is there! Heading for a superb single track in balcony we end up at the end of the Herens Valley and its impetuous torrents. A final short climb brings us to our hostel in La Sage. From the terrace, superb view over the surrounding mountains (including the famous Dent Blanche) and the valley. 

  • Distance: approx. 35 km 
  • Altitude gain: 1400 m
Day 5: La Sage - Grimentz (Anniviers Valley) - Zinal

We continue to play leapfrog with the valleys of the famous Swiss Alps... Today, a dish of choice: Torrent Pass. We start in the morning his long ascension. We will never grow weary of admiring the view on all the peaks surrounding us. Each bend shows us changes while we are progressing to the pass. Village life gives way to that of alpine meadows, then gradually to that of the wild mountains. No doubt we will see marmots, but perhaps also chamois… The long climb ends with the longest portage of the week: 400 meter vertical drop, about an hour, which lead us to Torrent Pass. The reward is stunning: glacial peaks, of course, but also and especially a huge lake with turquoise water that sparkles down in the valley: Lake Moiry. Regretfully, we must leave this beautiful panorama ridge, to get into an endless descent of 1400 meters of almost vertical drop that leads to Grimentz! The downhill is extremely diverse; a technical start, then it twirls around, rolls smoothly, contains many switchbacks and finishes on rocky part before the arrival to the famous resort of Grimentz. The latter is a kind of "Megeve" of the Swiss Alps: narrow alleys, traditional restaurants, cafe terraces... After making a short visit of the village, we reach a single track in balcony slightly ascending (on a former Bisse, virtually disappeared), which leads us to Zinal, nestled at 1,670 meters above sea level at the foot of Weisshorn (4th highest peak in Europe 4506 m). 

  • Distance: approx. 35 km 
  • Altitude gain: 1500 m (hike-a-bike included) 
  • Hike-a-bike: approx. 400 m (approx. 1h)
Day 6: Zinal - Forcletta Pass - Unterbäch

We come out of the narrow valley of Zinal to regain altitude above Anniviers valley, first by a small road, then on a alpine switchback track. Again great view on surrounding peaks. On the other side of the valley, we identify the route we followed the day before... A final portage of about 45 minutes and we reach a pass with jagged rocks. The single tracks dives towards the valley, winding between the blocks that litter the grass. We see the famous Monte Rosa (4634 m) in the axis of the valley. After this long tumble, we ride on a path in balcony above the river, alternating on its left and right banks, all that in a beautiful spruce forest. We finally come out of the forest and see the Bernese Alps and their many glacier peaks. Another amazing view... We reach our hotel located in a village nearby.

  • Distance: approx. 45 km 
  • Altitude gain: 1700 m (hike-a-bike included) 
  • Hike-a-bike: approx. 300 m
Day 7:  Unterbäch -  Kalpertran  (Matter Valley) - Herbriggen

We gain altitude through spruce forests that allow us to still catch a glimpse of the sometimes jagged peaks of Bernese Alps. During the climb, on a nice Bisse which will be the last of our trip (sniff!)… We reach the Moosalp Pass at the level of a clearing, again like in a postcard: traditional cottages, pastures, snow-capped peaks which exceed any part in the skyline. The show is just beginning as we embark on a new single track path in balcony… of anthology... We are now facing a string of peaks over 3000 meters, while overlooking the last valley we will ride down: Matter Valleys. The descent is again a great moment of happiness. Anything goes: hairpins, switchbacks, gentle curves, passages in balcony… We reach the bottom of the valley at Kalpertran, just after passing the village of Emb, seemingly suspended above the valley. We  can now put the focus on our ultimate goal: Zermatt. We go up the valley on a roller-coaster itinerary along the Mattervispa torrent. On a mix of fireroads, paths and minor roads, we pass through traditional villages and hamlets. Night in a small hotel.

  • Distance: approx. 45 km 
  • Altitude gain: 1 600 m
Day 8: Herbriggen   -  Zermatt  -  Herbriggen

We end the rise of Matter Valley, which tightens more and more... The slope increases, glacier peaks are getting close… At the gates of Zermatt, we start a loop ride that will be the true finale of our trip. Ascent on a twisty fireroad on the slopes of Untterothorn (3104m) up to a belvedere that offers a breathtaking panorama on the mythical summit Matterhorn (4478 m). A great moment... This mountain expresses both power and beauty. Nowhere such a rock mass exudes a similar elegance. We are taking a single track in balcony allowing us to enjoy this view as long as possible. We end in a blaze of glory with a last downhill on a swirling single track to finally reach Zermatt. This  adventure is complete, almost regretfully...  In free-wheel on the road, or on an ultimate small single track, we let ourselves roll down towards Herbriggen.

  • Distance: approx. 40 km 
  • Altitude gain: 1100 m

Itinerary end : The trip ends in Herbriggen at around 3-4pm. On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Herbriggen or Zermatt, or organize a transfer to Chamonix or Geneva airport.

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

This tour has not yet received any reviews.

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"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


Phone number: +33 458 140 435
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Contact us

A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.

Send the message