Vertigo / Black Trail / EN11

Verbier

One of the most renowned enduro rides in Verbier.

Mountain Biking Extreme

Distance
14 km
Ascent
70 m
Descent
1.4 km
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
818 m
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
17˚
VIEW ON MAP
Vertigo / Black Trail / EN11 Map

Description

Vertigo is one of the most revered enduro trails in all of Verbier. Also known as "The Black Trail" and EN11, this lengthy run travels from the top of Les Ruinettes all the way down to Le Chable far, far below. And if you want to add even more descending, you can ride all the way to the top of the Jumbo Lift and add some alpine dirt road descending from Gentianes down to the top of Vertigo. That complete route has been mapped separately.

For the standard Vertigo run, follow the dirt road from the top of Les Ruinettes to skier's left, all the way around past the restaurant and farm. Vertigo is also known as the Black Trail because black arrows mark the route. Keep an eye out for these arrows marking the turns.

The singletrack begins with a rocky traverse trail that crosses a rushing mountain stream via a series of boulders that are barely rideable. The following singletrack is rocky and rough, demanding expert bike handling even before you reach the downhill.

The descent begins fast and furious, flying through wide-open alpine meadows. It's easy to get cooking too fast in this section, as you'll inevitably come into the sharp corners a bit too hot. Stay in control—you have a lot of trail ahead of you.

Soon you'll drop into the woods and have a blast ripping down fantastic dirt laced with occasional roots. This section will lead to the "island in the sky," which provides a fantastic overlook of the valley far, far below. The island is the perfect spot to stop, grab a snack, and compose yourself, because the ride is about to get much more difficult.

From here, the technicality of the ride gets progressively harder and harder until it culminates in sections of extremely-demanding singletrack. The trail steepens, the switchbacks get tighter, and the mountainside exposure gets much more dramatic. The lower section of steep, stacked switchbacks infuses rock slabs and some near-vertical slopes into the mix, requiring absolute focus and expert-level bike handling. Riders who are unprepared for this will find themselves doing a substantial amount of downhill hiking.

After making it down the series of never-ending switchbacks, the trail finishes with a long, fast straightaway to get the wind blowing through your hair again. After popping out of the singletrack, take roads back to the lift station in Le Chable.

Difficulty

Extreme

Very steep, difficult, narrow singletrack with widely variable and unpredictable trail conditions. Unavoidable obstacles could be 15in/38cm tall or greater, and unavoidable obstacles with serious consequences are likely to be present. Obstacles could include big rocks, difficult root sections, drops, jumps, sharp switchbacks, and more. Ideal for expert-level riders.

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