In the second episode of Singletrack Switzerland, a new Teton Gravity Research mountain bike project produced in partnership with Swiss International Air Lines, Switzerland Tourism, and BMC Switzerland, two American mountain bikers – pro rider Brice Shirbach, and pro skier Carston Oliver – venture to Verbier, Switzerland, where they ride open alpine singletrack, full-blown bike parks, and thousands upon thousands of vertical feet with the help of Epic Europe.
Carston Oliver hangs onto a turn above a steep cliff face on the ride down to the village of Lourtier – one of the best trails we rode on our trip. Grant Gunderson photo.
Verbier is infamous as one of the rowdiest ski and snowboard resorts in the Alps, hosting the Verbier Xtreme big-mountain contest on the imposing 50º face of the Bec de Rosses. Verbier's growing bike park is looking to match the winter freeride experience, with flowing jump lines in the open alpine and technical downhill tracks falling through the forest. A little bit of work on the pedals, however, nets you a day-long tour down into the Rhone Valley, or down the puckering, switchbacking trail to La Chaux, which runs through mountainside villages and alongside steep, cliffed faces on its way down, down, down to the bottom of the valley.
Carston follows Brice Shirbach over a blind roll down a trail at the ski area across the valley from Verbier, Bruson. The Toboggan trail to follow would be etched in our memories forever. Grant Gunderson photo.
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