Ever since my first trip to Switzerland way back it became a bucket list item to mountain bike the Swiss Alps. I linked up with Joe Schwartz and the guys at Big Mountain Bike Adventures for their Alpenrock trip.
I landed in Geneva a little jetlagged but the local chicken shop served up some fried bits to get me grounded again.
We all piled into the van and arrived in Verbier, a little hamlet high in the alps surrounded by mountains and a spiderweb network of trails and lifts. In the winter the town is overrun with ski bums but in mid August it's quiet and the B&B owner doesn't mind us spreading out to build our bikes up. An ex-military man he shows us his barn/88mm canon silo the Swiss army put up. The government pays him to patrol the border with Italy and France by mountain bike, a horrible job in an equally atrocious environment.
we get our bikes built up and load up the van for our first warmup run of the week. By the end of the week we all logged in over 60,000 ft vertical descent over countless miles. Basically we descended Everest twice. Everyone went through a few sets of brake pads.
Having cut my teeth in Laguna Beach these steep, loose descents had me feeling like I was home again.
We descended down past a castle, still occupied I think it's an Air BnB. I can't help but think this was at some point a secret hideout for Templar Knights after their persecution on Friday the 13th.
Past some nice cottages and right back into town in Verbier for a dinner of Raclette. If you don't know what that is...look it up and drool.
We hit up all the good trails, including the infamous Brazilian. Then it was time to pack up and head to Zermatt - home of the Matterhorn mountain.
I was here a few years ago and learned that it was a good sign when you could see the mountain, as those days are few.
We all took it as a good sign and hopped on the gondola and cog train to the top!
We regrouped at the base of the Matterhorn amidst confused Japanese tourists who thought we were dressed like astronauts.
Words can't describe how epic it was.
There were even some portions where the trails stop and you just pick a line down a boulder strewn field. Sometimes there'd be something to launch off of.
Each descent back into town would take a whole day - stopping for lunch at a chalet mid mountain to load up on cheese, water, and Carlsberg.
Switzerland can now add it's epic network of trails to it's fame in addition to: chocolate, watches, neutrality, banks, and Templars.