SkiBike Tour 2013-14 - Metabief

Posted: Monday, 3 February 2014 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

I owe the inventors of Ibuprofen, commonly known under the trade name Nurofen a huge thank you. After yesterday's hooning I was expecting to be as stiff as a board, but felt fine from the get go and headed for the car. Having passed the ski station of Metabief so many times in my travels, it has been on my hit list for a long time. It is located just off the trunk road that serves to connect Western Switzerland with Eastern France. It is easily accessible from Geneva, with a motorway standard route to within a few kilometres of the chairlift at Les Tavins. From Geneva airport the distance is about 50 miles and is covered door to door in around an hour.

I left my Geneva base camp in fine but overcast weather but arrived in Metabief to shocking conditions. I joked with the lads in the car next to me that it was just like Scotland and they found this hilarious as they had just said the same thing before I arrived. Sorry proud Scots, you know it's true; I hoped that, much like Scottish weather, this was just a squall that would blow itself out.
Half an hour later I was still battling gusty winds and hill fog, so stayed safely in the sheltered wooded runs around Piquemiette. Most of the runs are steeper than their grading would suggest, but very enjoyable to attack with vigour, not a place for nervous first weekers.
Some runs were so entertaining I had to go back for another go, then another and so on, to the point where my thigh muscles were screaming at me to stop.

Finally the winds calmed, the mist lifted and I headed over to the Super Longvilles sector.
This felt like a much older resort from a bygone era of Ray bans, cable bindings and bobble hats. Situated on a sunny mesa plateau, it has 5 short runs of different grades, served by a quartet of drag lifts. Even the red runs would probably be graded blue elsewhere and the greens were more like cross country routes with a couple of sudden drops. Still it would be a fine place to chill out on a sunny day with three generations of the same family.

Metabief - excellent access, infrastructure, variety and good value

The centre of the station at Metabief appears to have been well designed and upgraded over the years. The centre piece is a modern detachable chair lift acting as a transport hub with many runs fanning out from the top. I had seen SnowScoots out on the pistes and the lifties had confirmed that they were permitted, but in the afternoon when I presented my skibike it was rejected. What a shame and a poor end to what could have been a great day. With its easy access and abundance of chair lifts I felt that this would be an excellent place to use for skibiking, Metabief you're loosing Euros with this sort of policy.

In conclusion Metabief has; excellent access, good infrastructure, great variety and good value. Please can skibikes be given equality with SnowScoot so we can enjoy it all too. Now where's my Ibuprofen, skiing sucks, my legs are killing me?