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Jeizinen: Small Gondola But A Big Variety Of MTB trails

Dec 20, 2016
by teeneegee  
Jeizinen – What?
What do you do when it's December and most resorts have started with the winter season but there is no snow? Yes I know, biking season is all year long, but both of us love skiing, too – therefore we do have a couple of months each year with less mountain biking and more skiing.

To answer the question...you search for gondolas that are open all year long. Ideally, regions that are south exposed in order to get at least some sun on your face too. Jeizinen, above Gampel, is one of those regions with all trails super south exposed. And the Valais gets a lot of sun and the trails dry up quickly here.

Riding into metallic winter lights - photo by Armin Wurmser
Riding into metallic winter lights - photo by Armin Wurmser

Jeizinen – How?
How you get there you may ask? There is a train from Berne that stops at Hohtenn. From there it's a short single trail down to Gampel – that's the place where there is once a year a crazy open air. Gampel is also home to the Gondola that brings you 900m up the mountain to Jeizinen. A single uplift with bike costs 12CHF. A full day 30CHF.

Dry conditions in December in the swiss mountains. Bike season just got a bit longer.
Dry conditions in December in the swiss mountains. Bike season just got a bit longer.

Jeizinen – Trails?
There are a few trails down the mountain, including one “official” bike trail which offers a couple of fun sections down the hill. Besides that, you can basically take any trail that points downward to Gampel, Bratsch, Engersch or Erschmatt. You will always end up within a couple minutes bike ride away from the gondola station. It doesn't matter which trail you choose, they really are all fun, I promise!

Images for Jeizinen Small Gondola but big variety of MTB trails blog
Images for Jeizinen Small Gondola but big variety of MTB trails blog

Jeizinen – Why in December?
As mentioned before the trails around Jeizinen are all south facing and therefore super hot during the Summer. For us, the perfect time to ride here is early Spring and late Autumn. And of course, winter, if there is no snow. There are webcams to find out if there is snow. Additionally, you should avoid busy days because the gondola isn’t that big. We fit in 5 of us with 5 bikes, which felt like the maximum. Therefore the line on the station might get long when there are many riding at Jeizinen.

Riding into the Sunset while knowing that the further down you get the colder it will be
Riding into the Sunset while knowing that the further down you get, the colder it will be.

Jeizinen – Food?
Say no more. The only place we tried was the restaurant attached to the gondola station in Jeizinen. The food was great and reasonably priced. And the view, well, was amazing. Check their website: Restaurant Seilbahn

Images for Jeizinen Small Gondola but big variety of MTB trails blog

Jeizinen – other options?
2 years ago in a particularly bad Winter for skiers, I went to Jeizinen at the end of March and rode a variation (containing some uphill) towards Leuk. The trails have been fantastic there, too. There are more options directly down to Gampel if you wish to pedal a little or there are too many people waiting for the gondola.

Photo by Armin Wurmser

Gampel-Jeizinen mountain biking trails


MENTIONS: @teeneegee




19 Comments

  • 3 0
 Jeizen never really was a secret TBH. Ever since the birth of the DH trail it has been a popular spot for pro and semi pro DH racers to train in early spring.. I saw TWR training there in late Febuary two years before anyone had ever heard of Aaron Gwin. That was a fun day day of being reminded how slow I am. I still can't imagine how it's possible to ride that trail that fast. It's like they never touched their brakes. Anyways the gondola wait was crowded quick even back then. But not half as bad as today. It's mostly the Enduro bikes fault. Damn enduro bikes. Wink
  • 7 5
 "if you wish to pedal a little or there are too many people waiting for the gondola." Now thats its on PB pedaling might be the only option. That gondola is too small for Jeizinen to be considered a MTB destination. They need to invest in a bigger gondola as the max is 4-5 riders with bikes, add 20+ riders plus the 10 minute wait for the next gondola to come down.........7 years ago we fit 8 DH bikes with riders in that tiny thing. Now they no longer allow bikes to hang out of the windows. Frown
  • 7 2
 I hope they can invest at some point in a bigger gondola. I only saw pictures of bikes hanging outside of the gondola. Looked hilarious. I've heard, back then, there were even some crazy built features. Must have been great Smile
  • 4 0
 @teeneegee: It was crazy back then. Big feautures and no people save the hard core. Of all the people I know, me and two others are the only ones who actually LOVE the DH trail. The rest say Fu%k you for bringing me here. And they never ride that trail again. Yes Jeizinin WAS a good secret until RIDE featured it. I'm all for making Jeizinen great again(lol) its an awesome place to ride but having to wait soooooo long between runs kills the feeling of being "in the zone" every run now is like the first run cause you have to wait so long. Unless you go mid week of course. Wink
  • 4 0
 A small group of riders from Brig are the the original trail builders. Sebbi and his friends are the ones to thank for Jeizinen even allowing mountain bikes. It's a shame the farmers removed all the features.
  • 8 2
 Yes absolut fantastic spot, was there three weeks ago. Perfect conditions!
  • 7 10
 A great spot indeed! But at least now no longer an insider spot. Is it really necessary to post that on PB?
  • 12 4
 How can this be a secret spot mate? Its listed on trailforks, traildevils ridemap, on pretty much any website for tour recommendations and well as others pointed out, was featured in a couple of bike mags.

They offer day passes for biker, they have a bike flag at the groundstation and welcome bikers. And obviously winter tourism is not really that big there anymore since the snow melts away too fast. They offer something to attract tourists. Why not help them earn something in return?
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