Joux Plane descent
From roots to swimming poolsBy Andrew Revitt
The Joux Plane is classic Tour de France climb but those guys are nuts. It makes much more sense to shuttle up to the top and ride this sweet descent. You can climb and use the lifts from Morzine or Les Gets but will still need transport to get back from Samoens.
Starting at Col de Joux Plane (1700m) you take a trail up and traverse from the road descent through cow pastures towards a cross on the horizon. At the cross you are greeted by outstanding views of the Vallee di Giffre and over to Mont Blanc.
From the cross it's straight down and onto thin, meandering cow paths and then into a very rooty section worthy of a World Cup downhill track. The trail's unrelentingly steep to start with and sticky to the same cowpath can be tricky. More stunning views to your left and a sheer drop down to the valley floor. Note the parascenders jump off platform. Crazy.
The road appears to you right and the trails continues steeply down with more roots than you can shake a stick at, until you cross over the road and head into doubletrack. The trail now is not steep or rooty but fast and rocky. It pushes on with a real mix of trails. Cut up firetrack and then a singletrack leading to gulley run with many hidden dangers under a bed of leaves and debris.
The trail flits between new built and old build chalets and you have to keep your eyes out for markers. The red 50 marker is ideal. Things get slightly surreal at one point when a nice swimming pool appears on your right with bikini clad ladies. At least it did for me, your luck may differ.
Eventually you hit the road for a short run back into Samoens reading for your shuttle jockey to take you back up for 'one more run'.
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