There’s a lot of money kicking around these resorts and it shows in the two downhill tracks above the village, which are among the finest man-made runs you’ll encounter. The huge height gains and breathtaking scenery make this a quality venue for epic gravity-assisted adventure.
Recommended route Plaine Morte to Violettes
Take a series of lifts out of Montana up to the Plaine Morte, where you’ll be greeted by staggering views over the glacier below. Take a left and climb briefly to the peak before dropping down the ridgeline and drifting through the shale towards the col (lowest point on a mountain ridge) ahead of you. As the trail levels out, head to the left into a second valley following signs for Lac de Huiton. The mellow gradient through this valley means you can really rip and carve through the hardpack and shale singletrack, while smooth rock slabs work as hand-made kickers. Keep heading left around the spine following signs for Crans-Montana and Violettes. Push up to the Col de Pochet and then glide back down to the Violettes along glorious singletrack through the meadows.
The Plaine Morte cable car that gives you access to the big enduro lines mentioned above is open during July and August, but Cry d’Er and the park open from June to mid-October. Full details of opening times and prices (from €24 for an adult half-day pass) are at crans-montana.ch. There is the option of dropping into the valley and catching the funicular back up from Sierre, but bear in mind this costs around €10 a trip. It runs (almost) year round: cie-smc.ch
Where to stay
Camping Moubra, a tranquil spot among the pines, is one of the best and most affordable options. It offers tent pitches from around €8 a night.
Eating and drinking
For instant refreshment on the trails check out Bar 360, a popular spot next to the north shore zone at the bottom of the park. In town, Pizzeria Molino is always busy due to the large and delicious pizzas that flow from the kitchen. Late-night “chill bars” are the speciality here and you can chill in style at Leo’s Bar in Crans’ centre.