What makes trailAddiction special is, quite simply, a deep-rooted passion for mountain biking. By sharing this passion with all our guests, many find a whole new dimension to the sport they already love so much. A large majority of our guests (now, our friends!) return to stay with us time and again, and of course we are always delighted to see them again.
2021 is about going back to basics for trailAddiction, with a scaled-down, one-chalet operation, and a maximum of 3 guides & 2 shuttle vehicles at any time. We’ve gone back to Chalet Eagles Nest as our all-time favourite from previous years – having the best balance of modern facilities and rustic Alpine charm. This smaller-scale setup (by former trailAddiction standards) allows the best-possible degree of flexibility to react to weather, trail conditions, and the riding style and preferences of our customers on any given week. Best of all, Ali hopes to ride with each of his customers on an individual basis, and in that way to personal share and enjoy the thrill of riding the best trails in the world with his customers – a pleasure that never, ever gets old.
trailAddiction began way back in 1999 with two friends from University, who wanted to show their mates from back home a ‘different’ way of riding bikes, for fun, that was very much in the Alpine and using uplifts, but very much NOT in the brake-bump-infested bike parks of Les Gets and Morzine.
That was, to take a ski lift, public bus, shuttles, or even thumb a lift to the highest point in the valley, then pick a hiking trail and follow it all the way back to the bottom.
Those two original founders of what became trailAddiction Ltd were Ali Jamieson and Ash Smith: Ash eventually went on to create the groundbreaking Trans-Provence, and Ali was the creator of the Trans-Savoie Big Alpine Enduro. The point is, trailAddiction has always been about riding “Enduro” before Enduro even was a word! That said, trailAddiction has never been a provider of Enduro-specific holidays per se, since that’s too much ‘in a box’ for our liking. We simply do our best to provide the kind of riding YOU want to ride, in a beautiful, natural, Alpine environment. The only catch is, you’re going to need to enjoy riding sweet single-track, and lots of it!
With Ali’s passion and drive, plus a lot of top guides who’ve joined us along the way, trailAddiction grew through reputation and word-of-mouth to become what was probably the biggest chalet-MTB-holiday provider in the world, providing literally thousands satisfied customers with a week-to-remember, as well as running spin-off events such as Enduro2 not only in France but also Switzerland, and even New Zealand.
Managing such a large operation across several continents eventually became unsustainable, and for Ali as the sole remaining director, the element of personally sharing new MTB adventures with customers on an individual basis, had become lost in a torrent of paperwork, admin, and management responsibility. Added to that, a political issue regarding our mostly UK guiding qualifications in France, became centre-stage ans started to seriously impact the passion, enjoyment and satisfaction in this, for all of us. (Read the back-story, here). At the end of 2016, trailAddiction closed its doors and the company was wound up. The staff went off to follow various new passion-projects, whilst Ali relocated to New Zealand in search of new trails and new adventures. Before long, trailAddiction Ltd was reborn as an NZ registered company and provider of backcountry MTB adventures on New Zealand’s South Island, centred around Nelson (NB The EWS Nelson round arrives in April 2022).
But the call of The Alps never faded, so in 2019, Ali returned to Les-Arcs, and the rest was pretty much inevitable. The mountains were still there, and so were the trails…in fact, there were still dozens still out there just waiting to be discovered, as they always had been! A successful relaunch of trailAddiction’s Enduro2 pairs-format event in 2019 sealed the deal, and in-spite of obvious challenges due to COVID-19 in 2020, trailAddiction was back in the Alps offering bespoke guided chalet holidays based out of Les Arcs but offering backcountry adventures to all corners of the valley…and beyond. We are now small enough to know each customer by name, yet are well-established enough to provide exceptional quality and reliability of service, at outstanding value-for money.
Unlike some other alpine operators, we are not a winter ski chalet looking to expand into the summer market. Neither are we a general alpine summer tour operator. In fact, we don’t operate in the winter at all, and we have no affiliation to any winter activities. Nor do we organise other sporting activities in the summer. Heck, we don’t even have any children of our own because we’ve been too busy riding bikes and pouring over trails maps all this time!
The possibilities for lift-assisted Alpine adventures are endless in this part of the Alps, and we can’t ready to share some of them with you this year.