Carnage at Mountain of Hell as Bottleneck Leads to Huge Pile Up

Jul 3, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

The Mountain of Hell race lived up to its name this weekend as a bottle neck on the glacier section led to a huge pile up. The crash is fully documented in the video above, starting at about 40 seconds as a rider slides out and catches a few others in the process, starting a domino effect that lasts for more than 2 minutes.

With 700 riders all being funnelled into a tiny gap at claimed speeds of 100km/h, it feels inevitable that some kind of pile up like this was going to happen though. The riders were on the same course as last year and were probably expecting some carnage but as you can see from these screenshots from Killian Bron's YouTube channel, the bottleneck is much more severe this year.

2018
2019
Screenshots taken from Kilian Bron's YouTube, shot at roughly the same point using the pylon on the right as a frame of reference

We’re glad that no injuries have been reported so far, and most riders seemed to pick themselves up and carry on in the video. No doubt there will be plenty of riders feeling sore this week.

Terrible course marking decision? All part of racing? We've reached out to the organisers of the race for more details.

Mountain of Hell is a mini Megavalanche (Regulanche?), with the first 900 metres of the 24 kilometre course on snow before dropping the riders in Les Duex Alpes' trail network down to the finish, Kilian Bron's winning race run of the entire track is here.

Regions in Article
Les 2 Alpes Bike Park


138 Comments

  • + 134
 It's a video representation of heading to the comments section when the article mentions a downcountry bike
  • + 2
 Haha! Love this!!
  • + 10
 or an eBike!
  • + 2
 & @WAKIdesigns getting smashed @3:14 on the right
  • + 26
 @qreative-bicycle: If I was there I'd dance, spinning around and laughing histerically. or playing a banjo

For the next event, I want a firewall at the bottle neck and traps on the glacier. big holes dug up in snow, covered with canvas with a thin layer of snow on top. Then some mini bombs exploding just to throw some puff in the air. Clowns rolling huge snowballs. Finish up with creek crossing like at the end of Trans NZ Enduro. That would be an awesome scene for E-bike avalanche. That's what Ebike racing should look like.
  • + 10
 @WAKIdesigns: just make sure the creek flows salt water for the e-bike crossing and I'm all about it
  • + 7
 Looked like a bunch of ants going downhill but then found a scrap of food and decided to hang out and cluster around the source of food. Wild activity.

Side note - some serious impacts into the rocks/ice. Surprised everyone walked away.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I fully support your idea!!
  • + 11
 Key-in the Benny Hill theme song, hilarious!
  • + 1
 They look like the dumbed bunch of humans in this video
  • + 5
 Really concerned for that dude who catapulted into the rider then definitely had some major head injury and was crawling to the side of the mountain. He looked like he took the worst of anyone on that mountain I do hope he's doin ok and recovering.
  • - 3
 shame on the organizers, amazing nobody died
  • - 12
flag pinnityafairy (Jul 3, 2019 at 15:43) (Below Threshold)
 @B650wagon: amazing none of these squids know how to bunny hop
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: and some baby hippo moose’s flying around breathing fire
  • + 1
 @AutumnMedia: so concerned you even wrote it on a website.
  • + 1
 That second or third guy to crash really smacked his face on the rocks. Without a full face he may have died.
  • + 1
 @tunnel-vision: smacks to the face leave you ugly more often than they kill you.
  • + 35
 Maybe no reported injuries, but at least a few destroyed bikes... A friend was in the first few to go down, helmet and bike are now properly out of use.
  • - 226
flag thesharkman (Jul 3, 2019 at 3:04) (Below Threshold)
 He kinda deserves it
  • + 9
 Glad he wasnt hurt! That was brutal footage
  • + 3
 @NYShred: Yea, Mondraker Dune carbon if I recall correctly, glad it's not the one that split in half in that video though!
  • + 8
 @thesharkman: Let's hope we never hear about you getting hurt....
  • + 1
 Just curious,
How did the helmet break and what model?
Thanks
  • + 37
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_IFoSKTl1Y go to 16:46 and thank me later
  • + 2
 Ha! Do I have to wait...or can I 'thank you' now? Idle hands.
  • + 1
 Wowzers!
  • + 1
 love it !!!
  • + 1
 And after all that hard work you cross the finitline to a hundreds of screaming fans , carried through the air , champagne corks are popping , babe with mic in ya face .............. arhhh 10 people !
  • + 26
 The guy that crash at 0:48, that broke its bike in half and starts crawling right after I think it's the most harmed...
  • + 12
 Looks in pretty bad shape, but still gives everything he has left to put himself in safety on the side. Good reflex.
  • + 13
 he's lucky he didn't snap his neck
  • + 16
 Great job of the race organizers of making every blooper reel on earth.
  • + 5
 You can see that at 2:42 a guy pick the broken bike and the guy still on the ground...hope he is ok
  • + 3
 brutal.
  • + 3
 i wouldn"t like to be the guy he crashed just before falling....
  • + 3
 Yeah, really bad crash. It's also shown in slow on 3:09. Healing vibes.
  • + 4
 Not sure if I'd rather be him or the guy's face he ran into and broke his bike in half on.
  • + 1
 There are at least a half a dozen concussions in the video from what I can see / my own experience!
  • + 24
 Whoever decided that snow bank was a good idea just wants to see the world burn. Savage.
  • + 9
 Who in their right mind would expect 1000 racers go through that bottleneck safely? The POV's from Kilian Bron says it all, way too narrow for a massstart with hundres of riders and such high speeds shortly after the start. 2018 was ok but this year? fail! Hope all the injured riders are getting well soon.
  • - 14
flag thesharkman (Jul 3, 2019 at 9:03) (Below Threshold)
 @kazwei: all I know is I'm thanking the organizers after seeing that video
  • + 21
 Wow. So much going on in this video. It's almost like a dark piece of art. You can look at small pieces of it all day and you will always discover new aspects of it. You feel the pain, physical and emotional pain as bones and expensive bikes and parts brake. See individual horror stories merging to one thoroughbred mtb nightmare. Hope everyone is okay but unfortunately we must assume that this is not the case. Horrible bottle neck at the worst time of the race at the worst spot of the race.
  • + 2
 Well said!
  • + 16
 Is it just me or Mega Avalanche events are like Crossfit games of MTB?
  • + 1
 unecessarily rough?
  • + 1
 @stefanfresh: that’s R Kelly
  • + 12
 the only thing in mtb i can definitely say i wont do again: massstart dh racing -so dangerous and frustrating, even more if there are no qualies and you have to start in the last row.
  • - 63
flag thesharkman (Jul 3, 2019 at 3:05) (Below Threshold)
 No qualies? Then man up and move further up
  • + 9
 @thesharkman: if you are given the last row what do you do -just drag your bike in the first row ?
  • + 5
 Started at the back row megavalanche qualies once absolutely loved it. Got to overtake about 60 riders in 5 minutes. It's highly dependant on the track though. But absolutely loved the carnage.
  • + 3
 There is qualy in MoH.
  • + 1
 @yeti-monster: in the races i raced there werent, my comment stated my personal expierience. (I did not race MoH, but even with qualies i would not do such a race, for explannation look up my cpmment further down)
  • + 2
 @optimumnotmaximum: cool, it was just to clarify buddy.
Certainly a gnarly race, I've crashed on the glacier too, but should be on your bucket list
  • + 1
 Did it once on purpose to start from last row(lenzerheide bike attack) and it's very encouraging not being overtaken. Just overtake????.
Watch owlaps chanel on youtube in this years mountain of hell race. He did an amazing ride.props on him
  • + 10
 I did it, I was in. And yes, it was scary.

The glacier was very iced but they decided to send us. When I came in the last section I just saw the beginning of the crash. Holy ***** ! Bikes flying in the air, broken frames and forks, riders on the ground... A lot of people did not finish the race after this.

You can easaly reach 100km/h if you don't touch you brake. So imagine the speed of the riders who didn't came here for selling cookies.
  • + 3
 Same opinion, I was here too and even if I decided to take the left line with these huge ice patches on the last steep section just before the bottleneck it was impossible for me not to crash... Some sminor injuries to me and my bike but not really happy for all the risks the organisers made us take! ????
  • + 8
 Done it few years ago and due to my score at qualifications, I was meant to start like the 1st quart of the fleet ... So scared we decided with friends to leave very last : out of 850 riders, I ended 112 mostly because I passed a pile of 400+ riders packed in ice and bikes ...never again !
  • + 1
 Is it really that scary?
  • + 2
 @pakleni: I did the MOH once. Never again. the glacier is way too scary and too fast for me. Did the mega a lot of times and I was never scared on the glacier. My main problem was to be able to be able to ride my bike and not running instead of wondering how I will be able to slow down
  • + 12
 @pakleni: Nahhh, hammering down a steep ski slope with 400 other riders who are not qualified to be doing this heading into a bottle neck where you cannot slow down sounds reasonable and not scary at all......
  • + 1
 @hpman83: Alpe d'Huez > Les 2 Alpes, always.
  • + 1
 @pakleni: No it's not that scary. It's really fun and it's not that dangerous at all.
  • + 3
 Haha that's a "saving private Ryan" carnage scene
  • + 4
 clickbait
  • + 11
 Looks like an ants nest forming around old food. lol
  • + 2
 Haha I thought the same
  • + 7
 A friend of mine did it and his friend broke his collarbone into the massive crash. So there were some injuries, maybe not life threatning but still bad injuries. Honestly with a bottleneck like that and ice, it's not very wise from the organizer to send 1000 riders in this carnage. In les 2 alpes, it's very easy to start just at the bottom of the glacier where the main gondola ends.
  • - 18
flag thesharkman (Jul 3, 2019 at 9:03) (Below Threshold)
 They know the risk and they chose to do it. Either riders have the skill to negotiate a bottleneck or they don't
  • + 6
 This is negligence on the part of the race organizer. There are ways to deal with this kind of situation to mitigate injuries. Any experienced mountain bike racer can easily recognize the hazard this situation poses.
  • + 5
 I was there ! At the moment I realized that I would not dodge the mass of bikes and riders as I was at 50km/h with two perfectly inneficient brakes, I wrote a blank check to mother Luck by intentionnaly falling on the non-drive side. Hopefully, the price to pay was only some little bruises on thigh, and no mechanical problem.
  • + 2
 Good thing you're ok. Smart move. That moment right before you crash is always one of the most terrifying as you feel your body pump in adrenaline. Did you crash near the turn or further up the slope?
  • + 3
 It was further up he slope as I hoped to use my pedal as an anchor. It just ended like a bowling game, being successively the bowl then the pin.
  • + 9
 @AAAAAHHH username checks out
  • + 5
 I cannot believe there weren't major injuries or death- that was crazy- some hidden carnage gems are the unlucky chap at 3:30 central who gets his legs taken out from under him and scorpions and the guy from about 3:05 next to the bank who has the crazy Michael Bay movie scenario unfolding around him as he is turtled up in the fetal position and bikes and riders just explode around him. Just nasty- glad to hear people made it out okay but I am confused at how that happened with so much speed and the force of some of those impacts.
  • + 9
 One of the few times mountainbiking made it to Dutch television.
  • + 1
 Bs Matthieu van der poel would have definitely made it on the news mountain biking
  • + 1
 @rrsport: Oh, I must have missed that.
  • + 6
 I'd hate getting injured just because of something stupid like this. I mean, very high speeds, funneling into a narrow section on ice. It doesn't take a genious to see that this will cause some serious trouble.
  • + 8
 L'enfer, c'est les autres.
  • + 7
 That's why i'll never do this race....I love my bike way too much to torture it this way.
  • - 22
flag nug12182 (Jul 3, 2019 at 3:18) (Below Threshold)
 YOUR BIKE IS A TOOL!!! USE IT!!
  • + 12
 @nug12182: Yeah....thanks for the advice. If I could avoid having my bike (and myself....) literally snaped it two by 50 riders speeding at mach 5, that'd be great.
  • - 37
flag nug12182 (Jul 3, 2019 at 3:31) (Below Threshold)
 @jurassicrider: Sound a wee bit scared.To each their own.I look for carnage racing.Different kind of focus
  • + 4
 @nug12182: true, the real problem is that at least 30% of the riders are adrenalin filled noobtools themselves and you rely on them not to mess up in an unpredictable way -at leat until you pass them. because of bottlenecks and trafficjams it is still possible to meet such timebombs even on the lowers halfs of such courses. i have friends though who love this event and train all year for this day, people are different.
  • + 8
 @nug12182: there’s a big difference between breaking your bike because you cocked up and crashed Vs another rider (or ten) crashing into you and breaking your bike.
  • + 5
 @optimumnotmaximum: Agree. there's a big percentage of completely blinded nutheads thinking they are in bullfight with complete disregard for their own and others people's safety.
Look at the guy who caused the crash, which can be seen in Remy's Absalon POV, after coming in hot into another rider's wheel, completely out of control, didn't even considered checking on the riders conditions but just picked up his bike and kept on going. Remy on the other hand, without having any responsibility, was concerned about the other riders involved and even checking on their conditions.
  • + 3
 Yeah, if I wanted to throw away a bunch of money on a frame I could just buy a Sick. Oh, wait, too soon?
  • + 2
 @nug12182: ...not everyone has 3-5 grand+ to blow on a new bike after one race.
  • + 2
 They sent approx. $ 3.5 million dollars worth of bikes down that hill !
  • + 8
 Magnet-infused chainrings would've saved that catastrophe!
  • + 7
 needs Benny Hill theme tune
  • + 1
 Yakkity Sax!
  • + 4
 It looks a lot like the AI simulation of the perfect Tour de France that was circulating last year: twitter.com/thetafferboy/status/1039519923150630912
  • + 1
 1) This is awesome. 2) The world would be nothing without comment sections.
  • + 5
 And yet they think teeter toters are an issue....
  • + 1
 Pinkbike

“We’re glad that no injuries have been reported so far, and most riders seemed to pick themselves up and carry on in the video. No doubt there will be plenty of riders feeling sore this week.”

In other news injuries are not reported.
  • + 3
 Meanwhile, a rider overtook more than 900 riders!!! :o
Video ▶️ owlaps.com/race-run-videos-mountain-of-hell-2019-les-2-alpes-france
  • + 1
 I like the way he took it smart and easy on the glacier. Then he was out of traffic and he had just few overtakes to do. Safe and fast ride thanks to his experience!
  • + 1
 The fat bastard who caused the crash was also part of the two-man pileup that launched the poor guy into the air whose bike broke in 2 pieces and who I guarantee you suffered a severe anterior cervical sprain that will never completely heal for the rest of his life. Too bad the idiot didn't start further back. However sooner or later there would've been a crash with resulting pile up anyway with that bottleneck.
  • + 5
 It was 1000 riders for the 20th anniversary, not 700
  • + 1
 The following ad found on Kijiji:

For sale... mountain bikes, mountain bikes and MORE MOUNTAIN BIKES!!! Most bikes ridden only once (albeit at an extremely fast speed) and most bikes are in near(ish) mint condition. Some bikes that are part of this sale may be missing a few small pieces (which we are still looking for on the mountain side) and these bikes have had their prices adjusted accordingly. Some of the bikes may need a few minor repairs due to high-speed cartwheeling, but nothing an apprentice bike mechanic can't straighten out with some Monster drink and a pipe wrench. We are also looking to 'part-out' bikes that happened to be catapulted into the nearby rock garden. These bikes need a home too.

email race organizer directly to claim one (or all) of these two-wheeled machines.
  • + 4
 How do you find your own bike?
  • + 2
 This is why most sliding riders are holding onto their bikes so strongly.
Otherwise you might need to hike up the slope a long way to grab your bike... Big Grin
  • - 1
 good, i like it
  • + 3
 Surf leash!
  • + 4
 Dr. Evil set that course up.
  • + 1
 I don't understand why anyone wants to go ride on ice with a thousand other people. Some of the dumbest use of mountain bikes I've ever seen.
  • + 2
 One lad got hit in the foot from behind and lost a shoe. Had to run back to pick it up. Could have been worse tho
  • + 1
 We can see a stuff flying and rolling down after the bottle neck. Wtf! Almost looks like a helmet by the way it roll and bounce!!!
  • + 2
 Mountain biking and ice skating are definitely two different sports. The proof is here once again Smile
  • + 3
 They could have used just this video as the Friday Fails this week haha!
  • + 2
 This honestly makes me proud to be a biker
  • + 1
 Thank goodness no one died. This event lived up to its name. Not much more to say.
  • + 2
 Hope everyone is ok - but gotta love carnage !
  • + 1
 It reminds me of "Where's Waldo?" At about 2:06 you can see his red jersey just left of center in the screen.
  • + 0
 If you haul ass down a slippery hill in a huge group of people while competing in a race called "mountain of hell" you should basically be expecting a pile up
  • + 3
 Too much zamboni
  • + 1
 Would a Live Broadcast of this events surpass the SuperBowl ? Damn it would be close I guess...
  • + 1
 Looks like an ant nest, after the carnage. Still in my bucket list!
  • + 1
 Starts out on a Huffy, ends up on a Santa Cruz.
  • + 0
 For god sake, at least wear a helmet...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvuktushEhY
  • + 1
 Play silly games, win silly prizes.
  • + 1
 A certain level of carnage is expected in this type of race correct?
  • + 1
 Yeah, I mean an event lives up to its name and people complain. From now on event name will be as follows: "The 15 km race on dirt and snow that may be dangerous. Difficulty ranges from blue to double black. Ride at own risk."
Doesn't sound too catchy.
  • + 2
 If Lemmings had bikes
  • + 1
 Gopros flying everywhere.
  • + 1
 10/10 carnage. Would watch again
  • + 0
 Let this run in your head while watching.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=04F4xlWSFh0
  • + 1
 It's like an animated Where's Wally
  • + 1
 This looked like a battle scene from Game of Thrones. Carnage.
  • + 1
 This footage must be used in a Slayer video.
  • + 0
 Oh man I needed a video like this to wake up to. Hahaha
  • + 1
 Never ride on ice kids.
  • + 1
 Send in more trains!
  • + 0
 Too funny
  • - 3
 Wow thats funny!
  • + 2
 no you are funny

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