SkiBike Tour 2014-15 - Chamrousse

Posted: Monday, 30 March 2015 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

My recent visit to Les Sept Laux spurred me on to check out Chamrousse, another Chaîne de Belledonne ski station. I checked the Chamrousse website last night and they listed a selection of SnowScoots allowed on the lifts, but I couldn't see any skibikes listed. I decided that I would give it a try anyway and in the worst case scenario I would be getting in my second day this season on skis.

The weather has really closed in in the last 24 hours and as I left Allevard the rain was falling in near biblical proportions, I could only hope that this meant fresh snow at altitude. Chamrousse is quite close to Grenoble at the Southern end of the Chaîne de Belledonne, it is a fun drive up through the forest from the valley floor, with a wide single carriageway road.

Chamrousse - I stopped at the first accessible chairlift 

I stopped at the first accessible chairlift and checked with the operator whether my skibike would be allowed, he had never seen anything quite like it, so radioed the boss. Perhaps it was the bad weather, perhaps it was end of season, or perhaps Chamrousse is one of those places where they're prepared to give a paying customer a chance, but the boss said that if I had a leash he could see no problem.

In the ticket office I was warned me about the weather conditions, with no visibility and driving snow at the top. They laughed when I explained that it would be like a summer's day in Scotland. As promised, the weather at the top of the chair lift was apocalyptic but just to get in one ride would have counted as "mission accomplished" in my books.

Chamrousse - the weather at the top of the chair lift was apocalyptic

Chamrousse has a variety of gentle runs through the trees at the lower levels, the more advanced runs are accessed from a second stage chairlift or directly from the base station by a gondola system.
Given the lack of visibility, it was probably just as well that I had to keep to the easy slopes. Seeking some shelter, I found a pleasant forest run called Coqs and went over it enough times to learn the bends and be able pick up a bit of speed without really being able to see where I was going.

Chamrousse - "mission accomplished" in my books

In conclusion, Chamrousse could be a great place to skibike, with a good mix of runs and offering good value for the budget concious skibiker. I have asked Thierry if he can to contact the lift operating company and hopefully get skibikes added to their list of approved rides and make Chamrousse another skibike friendly resort for next season.

Chamrousse - could be a great place to skibike