1. Too many trails to ride in 1 life
There are so many well-maintained trails there that you can never drive them all in a lifetime. At least if you live in the Netherlands;) Even the full-time mountain biker in Switzerland will have a hard time, there is so much! In general the Alps are “well maintained” here. There is active pruning in the preseason so that the trails are nicely open. Do not think that the trails are smoothed, no luckily they leave the roots and stones;)
2. It is only an 8 to 9 hour drive from Utrecht
We have done a lot ourselves. For a 2.5 day trail ride in the Swiss Alps. Sounds like crazy work, but it is easy to do. Away around 4 o’clock in the morning, means getting up in the lift around 1:00 pm, driving half a day until sunset (in other words, the last lift up) and you have a good day rding! On the return day you you ride in the morning, then around 13:00 back home. The way back is of course always disappointing but it is good to do, we know from our own experience. Such a mini vacation feels like a week !!
3. There are enough lifts not to waste time
The Swiss Alps have a very extensive network of ski lifts which almost all open during the summer. Check in advance, because the lifts also need maintenance … Climbing in the Alps is really not cool, especially if you mainly go for the descents. You can reach the most remote trails through lifts and pieces of climbing. With the lift you can reach a good 2000 meters in no time. And that saves time, a lot of time!
4. You can top up your water bottle on every descent
The Alps in general are known for those hollowed-out tree trunks into which a stream of water flows. That is (almost) always drinking water. Very occasionally it says Non Potable, which in turn means freely translated – don’t put it in your bottle -;) no not drinkable so … But in general these drinking spots can be found a lot. Fortunately, because to take all your drinks with you for an all-day alpine ride is a lot !! Take enough of course with you …
5. Hours of trails are driving, sometimes you won’t meet anyone
The advantage of high mountains is that it is all so extensive that you can sometimes ride trails for hours without meeting a person, that is really the ultimate feeling. It really feels like an adventure. Take sandwiches with you, have a nice lunch somewhere on the mountain all by yourself (or with your buddies) but the mountain feels as if it is yours, the moment may last forever!
Downhill runs of up to 2000 meters!
In some areas (Martigny for example) you can get so high by linking several lifts and a part with the bike in the neck that you can go down 2000 meters! And you will take a while. On that day you only do a few descents, but hey, they are so freaking long that you are a bit exhausted. The big advantage is that you get into your flow nicely without all the “lift” interruptions. Although you will have to rest your hands and arms on the way the first time you do this, luckily it gets better over the years.
7. It is affordable there
O sorry, this is not entirely true;) fortunately the Swiss Franc has already dropped considerably. In the past, the currency was so unfavorable that it was almost a no go, fortunately the Swiss franc is now going under the Euro, making it relatively affordable! Also a good option to opt for all-in places, so you know what you have lost in advance;)
8. The view, this is perhaps the main reason!
It is always cool to go to the Alps, slowly in Germany the landscape changes from flat to hilly. Seeing the mountains all the way in the south always makes my heart make a little jump. The further you drive into Switzerland, the more beautiful it gets, the mountains get higher and higher. Our “almost 2nd home” with Erik and Jessica in Bagnes (mtbverbier) has windows with live paintings. Every window offers a fantastic view over the dead-end valley that leads to the permanent snow-covered peaks. Of course it all becomes even more beautiful when you go up, the immense height, the raw and grandeur of the mountains, simply beautiful!
All photos were submitted by Jessica from @MTBVerbier !! Thanks Jess, www.mtbverbier.com
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