Châtel

Châtel /
France

Introduction

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Even on it’s own Châtel Bike Park stands out at a major player in the bike parks scene. But as part of the huge Portes du Soleil mountain bike mecca it has to be considered as one of the leading bike parks in Europe. Expect something big, as any park than can host an event like the Châtel Mountain Style must have something about it! It's important to note that the bike park is not actually in the town of Châtel – it’s 6km down the road at Pre-La-Joux. So if you stay in town be prepared to drive over to the lift or have a bit of a ride (warning – uphill on the way back!). There is one chairlift from the bottom taking you up 360m to a small gathering of huts and restaurants called Plaine Dranse. Here you will find the La Fantaski restaurant which is a popular rider hangout for drinks, snacks and lunch.

NOW HIT THE TRAILS

Most trails go down from here but there is a second chairlift up to the peak another 300m higher up. There are green, blue, red and black graded trails, and the greens are not just fire-roads, they are maintained machine-built rolling berms with optional jumps and drops which might be graded higher elsewhere. Check out the red Vorachatak trail, a tight steep singletrack off the very top, very narrow and one of our favorites. And Komatrautrail trail is also great fun – more technical and rooty than the machine-built ‘freeways’ running down under the lifts. Everywhere you look you will find big hit gap jumps, huge drop offs, fast berms and tight steep single-track – enough for any interest and any standard of rider as the features are almost always optional. There is stacks of northshore, with dedicated ‘shore’ trails as you get close to the bottom of the main lift. Every drop or jump is marked with neat little triangular flags positioned one either side of the takeoff lip and landing lip on the tabletops. All the trails are very well signposted, and with trail maps pinned to a board at the top of each lift you can get away without having to carry your own. Basically, Châtel is a monster!


Location