Alpage Respect Loop

Chamonix

Les Houches

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

If you have a motor on your bike, or you prefer to just do things the hard way, loop Alpage Respect with this route.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
12 km
Ascent
818 m
Descent
819 m
Low Point
1 km
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
17˚
VIEW ON MAP
Alpage Respect Loop Map

Description

Alpage Respect is the primary downhill trail in what’s referred to by some as the “Les Houches Bike Park.” Calling Les Houches a “bike park” is a disservice to bike parks everywhere, but there is at least one bike-optimized trail that you can ride from the top of the Prarion lift.

While the official Chamonix marketing documents list three downhill trails in this area, based on my research and on the ground experience, it’s more likely that there used to be three line variants on this one trail. Over time, the various alternate lines have fallen into extreme disrepair, so the downhill run basically offers one main line down the mountain with a few optional features.

Some of the optional features that are still standing are massive, such as one huge ladder drop that gaps over the easier trail, but most of the line down the mountain is simply a blown out upper intermediate flow trail. At points, the trail does dip into natural sections that are more technical—especially when wet—but overall, Alpage Respect is quite achievable by an upper intermediate rider.

Adding to the difficulty is the lack of maintenance. At the time of this writing, some sections of Alpage Respect are extremely blown out. In one section, the trail has eroded into a rock-filled trench down the middle of the flow line. Trying to navigate around wheel-sucking holes and rolling baby heads while still hitting tabletop jumps and setting up for the berms adds a new dimension to the ride—one that’s not entirely welcome.

Negatives aside, some sections of Alpage Respect offer ripping flow with delightful back-to-back berms, and a few step down jumps that flow super smooth. The tech sections are pretty entertaining as well, with delightful black dirt for loam blasting and dirt slashing.

After riding hiking trails all up and down the Chamonix Valley, getting to rip a bike-optimized trail—no matter what shape it’s in—can provide a welcome break from steep, awkward switchbacks. So if you have some time to spare, be sure to check out Alpage Respect trail.

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Jumps
  • Roots
  • Tabletops
  • Wooden Feature

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area