Pass’Portes du Soleil – Europe’s Biggest MTB Event

Portes du Soleil is the skiing area south of Lac Léman that stretches across 2 countries (France and Switzerland) and encompasses 12 resorts. It was one of the first skiing areas that opened the lifts during summer for mountain bikers.  And on the 3-days lasting Pass’Portes du Soleil Event you can cruise (or shred) a good portion of the 650 km MTB-trails. More than 6.600 riders participated this year in the 12th edition.


Usually, I am not a big fan of crowded events or crowded trails.  However, I had the area anyway on my “must ride list” when a friend told me how much fun he had at this venue in recent years.  So, I did the inscription as soon as the gate opened to make sure I will be a Pass’Porteur this year.

As a group of three we started from Champery (Switzerland) with the cable car up the mountain to go downhill the trail with huge berms the other side to take again another lift up and across the Swiss/French boarder on the downhill slope…

Following the well-marked P’PdS course we got a impression of most resorts, collected roundabout 80 km and 6 or more thousands of meters down and had a blast!  After all the 2.200 riders on this (smallest) event day were well distributed across the numerous downhill slopes and we had to line up for a lift only once.  Although, we did a couple of extra runs there are still lots of lines I haven’t ridden yet in this freeride mecca.  I guess, I have to come back next year to be part of the 13th edition…

Salt Lake City, Utah


There are not many large cities in which you can start a good, challenging trail ride in town.  Starting at the Popperton Park in the northwest of the city, you take the Bonneville Shoreline Trail that climbs up to the hills north of Salt Lake City.  Then the trail runs alongside the hills and offers great views.  In a turn to the left the Bobsled Trail turns off left down the hill in an old creek bed (and is easily missed).  The further you get down on Bobsled the better the flow and the bigger the berms.  In the lower part of Bobsled there are optional lines with jumps and drops that connect back to the trail.  Some of the jumps let you shoot in to the air over old, rusty cars, creeks or up a berm.  Serious fun.