Once again, the best Enduro riders in the world will mix and mingle with adrenaline junkies on bikes to take on the iconic 25 km freeride downhill route. As usual, the event will be held in Les Deux Alpes, and despite the poster, fire will not be included in this year’s edition. That doesn’t mean that 2023 will not have its fair share of surprises. So, let’s talk about the Mountain of Hell 23′ edition.
What is Mountain of Hell
Mountain of Hell is the creme de la creme of Enduro riding. It’s a race that, despite its name, will take you to heaven and back if you are an avid DH rider. The start is on top of a 3400m high glacier located above Les 2 Alpes, and when there aren’t 700 bike riders on it, the Glacier is usually used as a ski slope. This should speak volumes about the steepness of the descent. Experienced riders can reach up to 100 kph on this snowy terrain, and crashes are not uncommon. After the snowy terrain, there is rugged, rocky terrain, followed by single tracks. As the riders descend toward the finish line, they go through various landscapes, including loose rocks and soil, gorgeous single tracks, and outstanding DH sections filled with roots and rocks. The entire ride goes for around 35 minutes for the best riders. The rest can go for as long as an hour and a half.
One thing is sure, Mountain of Hell is a ride of a lifetime, and every mountain bike enthusiast should try it at least once. Of course, if they have enough experience to traverse the treacherous terrains.
What’s new this year?
First and foremost, there is snow. Rejoice, everyone. Last year the snow was just sad. This year the cameras show a bit more white powder on top, so we can expect one truly fantastic start. Also, we can expect a bit more dotted snow along the way, so riders will have extra fun traversing through the treacherous terrain.
Also this year, Kilian Bron, one of the legends of this event, will present his long-awaited film “Fuego.” The screening will be held today at 8 PM at the Palais des Sports des 2 Alpes, and Kilian himself will be there. A lucky few will even have the chance to speak with him. The rest will be as usual. One legendary event that will span across a weekend and give everyone a chill. Especially before the start.
Though it will spread across only one (albeit long) weekend, Mountain of Hell, as usual, is a genuine celebration of mountain biking. The fun starts with Kilian’s film on Thursday the 22nd. On Friday, the 23rd, ridders can get their plates at the Palais des Sports. Then they can explore the lower parts of the race route and enjoy the Les 2 Alpes magnificent bikepark. You may call it a training session, but it’s much more than that. It’s a genuine opportunity to mix and mingle with riders from across the globe and make some cool new friends along the way.
Finally, at 7 PM, Commencal is organizing a Crazy Race, which will be held at Restaurant Le Saloon. Not sure if that’s the best place to ride your bike, but it’s the perfect place to grab dinner.
On Saturday, the 24th, the racing will begin. At 9 AM, everyone should be ready to board the Jandri Express, and an hour later, the first qualifying run will start from 2600m. Every 20 minutes, a new group will get to the slopes and see who will join the best of the best on top of the Glacier. If you are among the lucky few, you must get to 6:30 PM at the Place des 2 Alpes to get your briefing and collect your line. If the weather is bad, the brief will be held at Palais des Sports, so stay noted.
On Sunday, the time will stop while you are 3400m above sea level on top of a glacier, surrounded by snow and hundreds of other overly-excited riders. The main event will start at 9 AM. Before that, Commencal will buy you breakfast on your way to the lift. Make sure to be there between 5 and 7 AM, as the Jandri Express will have to give a lot of riders a lift.
Although at 9 AM the culmination of this mountain bike celebration will commence, that’s by far not the end of the festivities. At 12 PM, there will be lunch at Palais des Sports. Right there at 1:30, the prize-giving ceremony will also take place, so make sure to stick around and applaud the winners.
Mountain of Hell is for everybody
Just like last year, MOH 23’s edition will also have an e-bike race and a challenging kids’ race. Of course, kids won’t run anywhere near the snowy slopes, but they will still experience what it’s like to be in an actual Enduro race. E-bikers will have the opportunity to go down the Glacier, so if you prefer the easy way around climbs and the lift is not enough for you, you can still experience this mega event.
And that’s it
If you are not already on your way to Les 2 Alpes, be sure to book your place next year. Mountain of Hell is truly a life-changing experience that you will share with your grand-grandchildren 80 years from now and still feel the cold snow glazing your feet as you schuss down the ski slope at 100kph.