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While most riders will use the Brevent lift to access Charlanon, a time will come when the lift isn't open.
Or perhaps, in the Chamonix fashion, you have a motor attached to your bicycle.
Either way, if you want to get to the top of Charlanon without taking the lift, follow this loop route to access this iconic Chamonix trail. The climb to the top follows a steep dirt road.
Despite some switchbacks and the occasional flat section, this climb is a bear if your bike is 100% human-powered.
But if you have a motor, flip that baby into turbo and blast on up the mountain! Charlanon is "Brevent's only designated mountain bike trail.
This enduro-style descent on fully natural singletrack is sure to test even the best riders," says local rider Tom Grant.
This enduro-style descent is one of the best-known trails in Chamonix for a good reason! After a technical, extremely exposed upper section, the descent opens up and lets loose with steep, fast singletrack dropping over 900 meters down the mountainside. The singletrack along the way is quite varied, with some long, fast, mostly smooth sections, a few ultra-technical switchbacks, and plenty of rock gardens to bash through.
After 10 to 15 minutes of constant descending, you may need to stop and shake out the pump—this ripping descent is relentless! Once you hit the Petit Balcon trail you can either drop straight to town, or if you aren't done quite yet, bang a right, pedal uphill a bit, and turn left onto a much more entertaining trail to finish.