Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alps 2012 - Part 2

Thanks Dave, this now feels like a 'Dragons Den' pitch :)

Ok, In conjunction with Dave, I've been researching organised MTB trips to the Alps. I've been in contact with a number of companies based in France and Switzerland including AlpsCycle, OTP and WhiteRoom. The objective has been to find high quality single track riding, good quality guiding from qualified and legal guides. A decent standard of accommodation and a clear indication of total inclusive price. As a final phase, I posted an open forum question on STW requesting recommendations. The feedback was very helpful and as a result I shortlisted the 'WhiteRoom', Sainte Foy, France.

Here is a summary of what's on offer plus some user feedback and comment from the guys at WhiteRoom:


Firstly, the WhiteRoom web site is very comprehensive. There are some great video's of the single track riding on offer + lots of useful information about what to expect and what is covered in the inclusive price. Once I'd read the web site I was left with very few questions to ask!

WhiteRoom response to my limited questions:

" If you enjoy getting out there, away from the resorts and your are prepared to pedal a bit to do it then definitely go for the back country week. Our Classic Singletrack weeks are focused around using uplift to allow us to do as much singletrack descending as possible with the minimum amount of climbing. That said, if your group is 4-6, then we'd almost certainly give you your own guide for the week, so there is no reason you couldn't do more of the Backcountry type riding during the chair lift season.
In terms of the difficulty of the trails, it's always hard to judge this without seeing you ride, but generally speaking our trails are more flowy and less steep then in some other places in the alps. Our trails are generally less rocky and more loamy. A lot of our riding is on surfaces with a deep bed of packed dirt and pine needles. "Hero Dirt" as someone called it this year!. At the same time, this is the alps and it is inevitably going to be steeper, more technical and rocker than anything on a UK trail centre. There are some videos at and loads more posted on Facebook by guests. Our guides can tailor the riding to suit the kind of trails you prefer. If you'd rather avoid the steep and techy stuff and stick to the flowy stuff, that's fine by us!

Prices for the week are around £495 and incl:
5 days guiding
on trail coaching, skills sessions
Airport transfers
7 nights accommodation
Bfast and 3 course dinner
Packed lunch
unlimited beer, wine, soft drinks
Afternoon tea and cakes
Wireless internet

Some STW user feedback:

"Just come back from there and its easily the best trip that I've ever been on. Seemed very capable of adapting to the needs to the client"

"White Room gets 100% recommendation. The riding was superb, lots of trails to choose from. Doubt I'd go anywhere else now for an Alps holiday."

"Another vote for WhiteRoom, been the last two years, wipe the floor with every other MTB Holiday company I've been with....."

In Summary:

Option 2 is an organised holiday with a professional MTB company.
It's more expensive but what you are getting for the money is set out in detail. I don't think the quality of riding is in question.
It comes highly recommended

Looking forward to your feedback and comments on both option 1 and 2. Dave and I will response accordingly pending your comments, preferences and potential group size.



uphilla said...

Thanks for all the research - like the sound of White Room. Hoping I would be up to the riding - keep thinking I may be too old, but then surprise myself :)
If flying there is the issue of getting the bike there safely, which I know some are dubious about, but must be possible.

toons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

toons said...

"Unlimited beer, wine, soft drinks"
Is worth its weight in gold! Especially after paying 8 euro's a beer in Morzine

Flying with bikes is easy, if you fly with Easyjet. Jet2 on the other hand is a PITA trying to make the weight restrictions.

Rob#2 said...

I've flown on easyjet with a bike. There is s specific weight catagory for bikes (32KG allowed) and the charge is around £15.00 each way. It's a very simple process and if the bike is well prepared in a bike bag the chances of damage are quite small. I can provide some really good instructions on how to prep the bike for a bike bag. It takes about an hour. In summer the flight cahrge (return) using easyjet incl bike transfer should be around £150.00
There has also been some discussion about driving. Subject to who is interested it may be possible to drive in one or two groups. I presume this will allow some discount as transfer fees can be deducted from the charge.

Jenny said...

Another enjoyable post to read.......thanks for sharing.