Vallnord in Andorra, has been in the spotlight for a while now, perhaps because it has been hosting the World Cup circuit for the last two years or maybe because it has been chosen as a base by both Commencal bicycles and DH’s super hero Cedric Gracia. Located only 1h40 from my own base in the Pyrenees, I had to find out why for myself!
After (easy) parking in La Massana, the town Vallnord belongs to, we headed off to the cable car right in the centre of the village. After signing a disclaimer and buying your lift pass, the lift takes you to the resort situated 600m above. There you will find Skippy (the resort mascot) as well as a few services, bike shop, restaurant, bike school, etc. But also a chairlift taking you to the top of the area (2050m) and the start of the DH tracks.
Skippy welcomes you.
I’m not going to describe all the tracks (you will have to find out by yourself!), but what I really enjoyed was the diversity of tracks… from the World Cup standard track (not that steep, but oh boy is it rough!) to the green track or the “woodpark”, anybody would find a track suited to their ability or mood. Everything is very well thought out and shaped and it’s very pleasant (but rare) to ride tracks with a real choice of lines. I loved the “Project 1.0″ black run for its originality and clever use of “north shore” but also the Catalan version of “A line” called “Route 66″ and its variation “Old school” which goes all the way down to La Massana.
My only criticism would be the total lack of protection on the tracks (hence the disclaimer), no safety nets, or padding on the trees… be aware of it! The bike park seems quite busy, which shows on the state of the tracks… though to be completely fair, I went there on one of the last weekends of the season.
In conclusion, a superb bike park, really well thought out with a very interesting choice of tracks and where everybody should enjoy themselves (there also are some XC and Enduro routes but I didn’t have enough time to try them). I’ll be back!
How cool is that?!
All the technical information is on the bike park’s excellent website: www.vallnordbikepark.com