Those of you who holidayed in the Tarentaise this winter will surely agree that the snow conditions were generally awesome. In fact the total cumulative amount of snow was said to have been seven and a half metres! Col roads in the valley took longer than usual to open after the season finished as snow was being cut through and snow walls were so high they were super unstable and the risk of avalanche was still high well into June!
The cols are now open after an initial delay. It’s as beautiful as ever up over the Cormet de Roselend.
Since the winter season finished at the end of April though, we have had some fine weather, much like the heat wave in the UK recently! So you’d expect the snow to be gone by now right? Wrong! Many mountain bike and walking trails in Les Arcs up above 1800m are just becoming fully rideable and it’s mid July! There is still a lot of snow up there and ‘fresh tracks’ can be seen in the Grand Col area where a super keen skier has refused to let go of winter.
Still loads of snow up near the top of the Transarc lift in Les Arcs!
The Summer season is now definitely in full swing however, and Bourg-Saint-Maurice is bustling with visitors. The Paradiski area seems to be busier with mountain bikers and we are certainly busy with airport transfers and uplifts. The Tour de France heads along parts of our airport routes tomorrow, Friday and Saturday so it would be rude not to go and show our support. Look out for a Cool Bus on the TV coverage if you’re a fan!
We have been over to Alpes d’Huez a few times already this Summer and Le Tour will be going up here twice tomorrow!
So much has happened since our mammoth road biking mission from the very North of Scotland to the very South of England. Probably the most important and satisfying point to note is that we were rewarded in our fundraising efforts as, between the eight riders of the End to End Challenge 2013, we reached our target of £10,000 raised for Cancer Research UK. Once again, thank you to everyone who donated and supported us.
Summer views on Lake Annecy.
Thankfully, that’s behind us now and so are the injuries, vacant stares and exhaustion that we picked up along the way. We’re back on the mountain bikes although road bikes will definitely continue to feature in our lives, just to a lesser degree! We’ve been uplifting to trails surrounding Cool Bus HQ, cutting away debris that has fallen over the winter months and getting our first taste of the mega, high Alpine rides this part of the world has to offer. Snow is melting fast here in the Savoie. The weather has picked up, the sun is out and it’s a relentless 30+ degrees everyday at the moment. Lifts are not open as yet in Les Arcs although this weekend we will be treated to the opening of the Funiculaire and the Cachettes to warm us up for the full resort opening on 6th July. Looking forward to those dusty trails! Once again this year, it’s worth mentioning that just up the road, the Tignes – Val d’Isere Bike Park with it’s 150km of trails is open free to mountain bikers from 29th June – 1st September.
Uplifts have started, even if the snow has been lingering!
Summer transfers are well under way and we’ve already been over to Bourg-d’Oisans numerous times to take avid road bikers too and from one of the European meccas of the sport. Their goals for the week are always the same – climb as many cols as possible in seven days. Yep! Talking of cols, still only the Petit Saint Bernard and the Cormet de Roselend are open in the Tarentaise at time of going to press. The Madeleine and L’Iseran are continually closed to vehicles (although pretty passable by bike) which reflects on what a great snow season we had.
Finally, just in time for the mountain bike season, our Sweet Protection gear has arrived from Norway! Helmets (carbon, of course) and pads were the main port of call to keep us hammering those trails (fingers crossed/touch wood) injury free for the whole of the Summer!
Sweet Protection delivery!