Backcountry Weeks

Dates & Prices Summer 2017:

10th - 17th June - €815
17th - 24th June - €825*
24th June - 1st July - €825*
2nd - 9th September - €825
9th - 16th September - €825
16th - 23rd September - €775

* This week should also have some chairlift options open

(See prices page for up-to-date availability)

Min Riding Level: 3/5

(We can tailor the level to suit you and your group - contact us if you think your riding level might be too low).

Min Fitness Level: 3/5

(Some pedalling will always be required on our Backcountry weeks, more details below).

The summer chairlift season in the Alps is remarkably short. For barely 6 weeks in many resorts there is the chance to use the ski lifts to climb effortlessly and clock up more vertical in a day than many ride in a year. When the lifts stop however, all that lush singletrack doesn't get packed up until the next summer season rolls round. Many of the trails we ride can be accessed without any need for the chairs. So for a few weeks either side of the chairlift season, we're offering you the chance to ride the Tarentaise valley backcountry. This includes many of our favourite trails and some of the most stunning, unspoiled scenery in the Alps. A bit of climbing will be required, but less than you might think - around 500m vertical or an hour of climbing per day. We've also invested in our very-own 9-seat Landrover Defender. This will cut-down on the amount of climbing on some days and will open-up some new trail options which have been too remote to consider in the past.

Over the years, these have become our favourite weeks, with the chance to ride some epic, unspoilt trails miles away from the clutter and crowds of the resorts.

The program for each week will vary according to the weather and trail conditions and the group's preference, but a typical backcountry week might include:

Beaufortain Epic
The Beaufortain mountain range forms the sunny, south-facing side of the Tarentaise. This epic day's riding starts with a high-altitude drop-off and involves 3 steady climbs and 3 huge descents. Each of the descent trails has a unique feel, including summit sky-line singletrack, a long series of inter-linked rock slabs and the incredible, never-ending drifty switchbacks of California Dreamin'. We've never even seen another rider on these trails!

La Plagne Summit to Valley
A van uplift takes us very high up into the La Plagne ski resort. From here, a moderate climb (with maybe a wee push) lets us stand on a summit and look down at the 2000m vertical drop to the valley below. There is a choice of routes down at different levels of difficulty, but all feature loads of switchbacks mixed-in with some flowing and technical riding. A late lunch in the valley usually leaves us with plenty of time to sneak-in another uplift or two to ride more trails here in La Plagne or cross the valley to ride a more remote descent away from the resorts.

Mont Jovet
Mont Jovet is a bulky, grassy peak near the end of the valley which reaches almost 2,700m. With a large refuge just a couple of hundred vertical metres below the summit, it's possible to drive to within a few pedal strokes of the summit. The flanks of the mountain running down into the Bozel valley are laced with snaking singletrack, running from high alpine meadows down into tight forest switchbacks. This huge ride extends out on singletrack all the way to Brides les Bains and on down to Moutiers.

Tarentaise Valley Descent
The Col.Inn. is one of our most remote and wild days out. We start by driving to the 2,770m Col de l'Iseran, the highest road col in the Alps. From there, a superb singletrack descent down the GR5 walking route takes us down to Val d'Isere. We load up again and shuttle up to a remote car park on the north side of the valley. From here, some classic cross-country mountain biking takes us all the way back to Sainte Foy. The route has everything. Tough technical climbs. Open meadow singletrack. Rock slabs. Tight forest trails. Escaping the remote wilderness trail, we climb steadily back up to the 18th centry village of Le Monal. From there, we have the chance to finish down classic Sainte Foy singletrack trail Whisky & Rye. The van will be waiting for us at the bottom to shuttle back to the chalet for some very well-deserved cake. We've refined this over the years and now incorporate all sorts of sneaky extra singletrack sections and can tune the amount of climbing and the technical difficulty to suit the group.

Bourg Saint Maurice Shuttles
Even without the chairlifts running, wide swathes of tarmac let us climb up into the Les Arcs ski domain and up to many small villages on the opposite side of the valley. Any number of road-side drop-off points let us pick up many classic Les Arcs singletrack trails running down through the Malgovert forest back to Bourg Saint Maurice or less well-known, remote trails outside of the resort. We'll ride superb tight, steep trails all day and we'll do as many laps as you can handle.

Sainte Foy Singletrack
Most of the sublime Sainte Foy singletrack that we ride all summer long can be accessed using a combination of our own van and some help from a little pedal power. We'll ride classic trails like The Thin Red Line, Whisky & Rye and The Beer Run. Landrover uplift will now mean this day is completely climb-free!

The White Room's new Landrover Defender

Remote singletrack, Tarentaise Valley

sainte foy mountain bike rider on Ace of Spades with the White Room

Sainte Foy mountain bike rider on the ColIn with The White Room

sainte foy mountain bike rider on Mont Jovet with the White Room