Les Posettes

Balme (Le Tour)

Chamonix

Balme

Les Posettes beginning from and returning to Le Tour lifts.

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
8 km
Ascent
98 m
Descent
820 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
13˚
Les Posettes Map

Les Posettes is considered by many to be the very best mountain bike trail in all of Chamonix. This stunning singletrack trail traverses along an alpine ridge above treeline, providing stunning views of the Chamonix Valley and the Mont Blanc Massif. The scenery from this ridge is simply otherworldly—even the best photos can't do it justice. You'll just have to experience it for yourself!

Description

The most convenient way to reach Les Posettes is by using the two-lift combination at Le Tour, but to legally ride this trail and use the lifts to get to the top, you only have a roughly two-week window in which to ride. These trails are closed to mountain bikes in July and August, and the lift to the top closes in mid-September. But if you time your ride perfectly in the first half of September, you'll be richly rewarded with a fantastic lift-served enduro route!

This route begins from the top of the lift and traverses past Le Chalet du Col de Balme. On the other side of the chalet, you'll cross into Switzerland very briefly. Next, fantastic, smooth singletrack traverses along the mountainside before dropping viciously toward a col below. This steep descent is tight, twisty, and eroded, making for much more challenging riding than the section that preceeded it.

From the col, the first stretch of Les Posettes climbs a non-technical stretch of singletrack before the descending begins in earnest. The first stretch of downhill descending is on a mellow grade, but this is also the rockiest, most technical section of the entire ride. Some of the rock gardens here deserve a "severe" difficulty rating. They contrast sharply with the rest of the singletrack, which is quite smooth.

After passing through the big rock gardens, you'll take a left turn to descend toward Le Tour. The grade gets much steeper after this turn, as you drop down a series of steep, tight switchbacks. The trail is much smoother, but the steep grade will keep you on your toes all the way to the car park far below.

If you're fast and efficient, and the lifts are running, you can easily score multiple laps on Les Posettes in a single day. Grip it and rip it, just watch out for hikers!

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

September

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area