Guiding company e-MTBswissalps offer guided tours around the Matterhorn along epic, untouched trails to give you an authentic Swiss eMTBing experience. We can’t wait for their guides to show us around on epic, multi-day rides, but what sets e-MTBswissalps apart? We interviewed them to find out.
Some go to indulge in its chocolate delights, for others it’s all about conquering the summit. However, there is more to the Matterhorn than those two extremes, which is what Maxence and Adrià want to prove with their extraordinary eMTB tours around the world heritage site. They’re calling them “eXPERIENCES with character.” Meet the founders and you can’t help but be quickly infected by their enthusiasm. What’s their concept? Fully catered, guided multi-day eMTB tours amidst Switzerland’s most beautiful panoramas that can both appreciate local traditions while also stilling your thirst for adventure.
Lifestyle – more than just pedalling
Since speaking on the phone, we’ve been itching to visit Maxence and Adrià to experience the tours on offer first hand. In the meantime, we asked Maxence to tell us what distinguishes e-MTBswissalps, which he founded together with Adrià in Verbier in 2018. “We are the only guiding company that focuses purely on eMTB tours in the Alps. We carry spare batteries for our guests, allowing them to experience flowing uphill trails and seemingly endless singletrack in the midst of 4000 metre summits without concerns about range to distract them.” Sounds a bit like an Alpine traverse, but is it? “Our region hasn’t yet been accessed by providers of eMTB tours, so the trails we ride remain largely untouched.” More like virgin territory then. Sounds good.
For the founders, riding isn’t just about pedalling across the Alps, it’s a lifestyle. The core idea is that their guests can focus entirely on the experience of riding and taking in the scenery. The e-MTBswissalps team takes care of everything else: your luggage, technical service, cleaning the bikes, charging the batteries, planning the routes as well as providing accommodation and catering typical to the region. The support vehicle transports all of the replacement batteries and food for the day’s riding.
Our guides and the locals are like a big family and we know the regional specialities and highlights better than anyone else.
It is their passion for mountains and bikes that drives Maxence and Adrià. It’s exactly this which they want to share with their customers, by exploring unique places off the beaten track. “We want to draw attention to lesser-known landscapes and get our guests acquainted with the region’s cultural heritage and rural traditions.” While the young entrepreneurs have gotten to know the region like the back of their hands, they also rely on local guides. Maxence sees Ben, the third certified Swiss Cycling Guide in the team, and all his other colleagues who take care of catering and technical service, as part of a family. Thanks to their combined knowledge, they know exactly where to find good riding spots, local traditions and regional highlights. They are careful about choosing culinary delicacies as well as cosy accommodation that are typical to the region. Here, even the rest stops are a part of the experience of life in the Valais.
What is it that makes the trails and routes so epic?
Above all, we wanted to find out what makes the trails so epic. Maxence doesn’t hesitate with his answer. “In the Swiss Alps, you can pedal up 3000 metres and still be surrounded by 4000 metre summits. It makes you feel like you’re doing something really big, climbing higher than you ever have before. Imagine climbing up a ridge flanked by Europe’s biggest glaciers and barreling along never-ending singletrack.”
Currently, e-MTBswissalps offer three tours with one variation. The ‘Family Haute-Route Vercorin-Zermatt’ tour is aimed at introducing beginners to the world of eMTB and showing them the ropes step-by-step. It’s a three-day tour on easy routes intended to make eMTBing accessible to everyone. To top it off, riders will get their first taste of singletrack and enjoy short hiking sections in the midst of the region’s magnificent mountain range.
The five-day ‘Crans-Montana Glacier – Aletsch UNESCO Glacier’ route is aimed at the mountaineers among us. This tour connects the most impressive glaciers in Europe, the Plaine Morte Glacier in Crans-Montana and the Aletsch Glacier, the latter of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moderately difficult, flowing uphills and single-track trails promise to turn this glacier region into your personal playground.
If a playground is what you’re after, then the ‘Chamonix–Zermatt Haute-Route’ or the shorter ‘Hérémence–Zermatt Haute-Route’ variation are what you’re looking for. Spanning either four or seven days, you get to explore flowing uphill trails and even more flowing and occasionally demanding descents through eight valleys and over passes with some of the most spectacular views.
The seven-day Chamonix-Zermatt tour covers 280 kilometres, 13,000 metres of climbing and 15,500 metres of descending, climbing up to an altitude of 3000 metres twice, the Matterhorn always in sight. In the evening, you can soak your weary bones in the jacuzzi of a historic hotel, situated at 2,300 metres above sea level.
All routes are designed to allow you, your partner, friends or family members to enjoy the outdoors and challenge yourselves. If you’re looking for your next adventure but don’t want the hassle, look no further.
Unfortunately, we’ve only seen the routes and their elevation profiles on a map, while it’s experiencing them first-hand that really counts. So, there’s only one thing left to do – as soon as the coronavirus situation allows, pack your bags and head out on an adventure.
For more information and photos visit www.e-alps.ch
Words & Photos: E-Alps