Guiding, Coaching & Groupings
In our opinion, the guiding element is perhaps the most important factor in getting the most from your holiday. Here at trailAddiction, we take this very seriously indeed. In fact, we put maximum effort to match you with a small guide group that fits well with your personal riding style and ability*.
You’ve come to trailAddiction to ride only the very best natural trails – but only an experienced guide will be able to adapt the itinerary to your preference and needs as a rider. He’ll know this both what you tell your directly, and through subtle cues he can observe as he gets to know you by spending 8 hours a day in your company, throughout the week.
Our guide groups are always small, and in that way, very personal. A maximum of riders per group means that you’ll spend much more time in the saddle and a lot less time waiting for the rest of your group to catch up or to fix those inevitable punctures. Plus there’s lots of personal attention should you need help with a trailside fix on your own bike, or if you want some extra coaching on a skill you haven’t yet quite mastered.
Mixed-Ability groups are no fun for anyone, and we make a lot of effort to make sure this doesn’t just happen. Please don’t be offended if we discourage you from booking a given date or tour – whilst its always hard for us to do this, we think its better to be realistic and never to compromise the group dynamic if we don’t feel the fit is good for you, and for everyone else in the group. We’ve got 25 years of experience in putting groups together – please have faith in our process!
We’ll start by asking you some questions about your current riding experience, when you book your trip. On the morning of the Day 1, we warm up on local runs of moderate difficulty, to give us a chance to see your riding style and ability and therefore adapt how we progress for the rest of the week.
*Our Trans-Savoie Tour is recommended only for experienced, confident Alpine riders with reasonable fitness / endurance – although neither is it exclusive to pro athletes or superhuman abilities! Our typical Trans-Savoie Tour rider is 35 to 55 years old, and rides regularly but also has family and professional responsibilities that often take priority over their riding trips in day-to-day life.
Our Part-Guided & Fully-Guided Package Options
We truly love to guide, but we also like to move with the times…and times have changed, since we started trailAddiction back in 1999!
The resorts in our region have done a great job in recent years of building lots of new well-signposted, “purpose built” trails. Add to that the advent of GPX and mapping technologies such as Strava and TrailForks, for some great itineraries it is now practical to simply navigate yourself…provided you have top-quality and up to date route advice from us, backed-up with the dedicated support that we can provide in the event of an emergency.
For this reason, from 2019 onwards we started offering a new standard package to all of our guests: A standard week with trailAddiction now includes 3 days of guiding, 2 days of “supported” riding, an 1 day-off or unsupported riding.
On the Trans-Savoie Tour, you’ll be guided for 5 days, with 1 day ‘guide-supported’
What is our ‘Guide-Supported’ Riding?
To be clear, our standard ‘fully guided’ days are exactly that – out on the mountain with your guide!
Our optional Guide-Supported days in our standard week-long package give you up to 2 days per week to ride some of our very favourite routes, but that are perhaps closer to our base; are easier to navigate; don’t need complicated logistical support; and are of minimal safety risk due to environmental hazards / bad weather / technical difficulties.
You guide will recommend an ideal route to you only after we’ve ridden with you and/or got to know you 1-to-1, at the start of your stay. It might be a series of trails straight off the lift system – backed up by detailed route advice and .gpx tracks (and subtle trailAddiction way marks placed along the route).
Alternatively, it might also be a shuttle day, on backcountry singletrack that we’ve prepared for you in the off season. Easy to navigate options with subtle way marks where required. We’ll drop you at the top and collect you again at the bottom of each run – with our minibus and driver never being far away in case you need to call-in for help, or rescue.
To be really honest, there’s no substitute for having your own guide with you all day every day. But through our years of experience, we’re confident we can get you 90% of the way there (on certain specific trailAddiction “classic” routes, that we have prepared in advance) – whilst allowing you to feel more ‘in control’ of your day, and saving a decent chunk of money, too.
If you are considering coming over on your own, don’t worry about feeling left out – many of our guests are in the same position as you are. How better to meet a great bunch of like-minded riders? Be assured that by the end of the first day you’ll have made a whole load of new friends, and be riding in a group that is well matched to your trail preference, confidence, and riding ability. Join our Facebook Group and get to know our other guests before you even depart…and whatever happens we almost guarantee you will keep in touch with your new riding buddies, a long time after your week with trailaddiction is over.
Guiding & Coaching for Alpine Novices
Riding in the Alps can be daunting at first, especially for inexperienced riders. To be straight about it, if you are new to off-roading, you’d be best advised to wait a year or two before coming on a trailAddiction guided holiday. We have lots of practise in dealing with those ready to step up a level and we certainly don’t just stick them in with a group of experienced riders. Please let us know at the time of booking if any of your group are a little low on confidence or trail riding experience and we will direct you to one of our Alpine Improvers Coaching Group Dates. While all our guides will give even the most experienced rider a run for their money, they all have a lot of experience in coaching at any level. Less experienced riders find that by the end of the first day, helped along with a little encouragement from their guide, their riding has come on leaps and bounds!
Guiding for non-package-holiday customers
We strongly believe the best way to experience Les Arcs or Beaufort is to join us for a whole week’s riding – that we we can really get to know you and tailor the entire week’s itinerary just as you would like it! We pride ourselves on offering a 100% tailored service, and this is simply not possible on a short term basis.
We get a high volume of enquiries for guiding on an indepenent basis. Our guiding service is tailored to be an integral part of the whole week’s holiday package with trailAddiction. You can’t join a trailAddiction guide group unless you book as part of a complete trailAddiction package. In our opinion, its just not possible to offer the same personal, tailored and dedicated service we pride ourselves on, without the support and organisation of the support functions we provide as part of our entire holiday package.
But if you are a group of friends staying in the area on an independent basis and wish to book a guide for the day to form your own separate guide group, we’d be glad to help you. Our hire-a-guide day rates start at 250 Euros per day, with large discounts if you wish to make it a multi-day trip with us.