Video: Killian Bron Rides Death-Defying Cliffside Trail

Dec 13, 2018
by Kilian Bron  

MISSION, [mish-uh n] 

1. countable noun
Any important task or duty that is assigned, allotted, or self-imposed. Synonyms: assignment, job, labour, operation"


Nobody told me what I should be doing. The "Missions", as I call them, are just my version of long and original bike rides. They often end at night, after sneaking into all the most unlikely places discovered along the way.

I always liked getting off the beaten track, exploring each and every spot to find out what's behind this corner, mound or mountain. I like to ride differently, in original places. That’s what MISSION is all about.

When I'm not on my bike, I used to spend time in front of my computer. Not only browsing... but also looking for undiscovered spots while getting inspired by imaginative videos and concepts. Most of my inspiration comes from the outdoor community, but what truly captivates me is getting to uncover creative minds.

This season, we launched our own web series "MISSION". You have already followed my adventures through different episodes: riding atypical spots all around the world, or mixing other outdoor sports.
After a first episode on the highest sand dune of the world, another one on the Chachani volcano at more than 6000 meters (around 20000ft), a third MISSION in the Namibian desert, welcome in the Dolomites for the last project of the year.

Credit Pierre Henni

The Italian Alps are famous for mountaineering and technical hikes. You never go walking in the Dolomites without your harnesses and ropes. Most of the routes are very steep and are accessible only via Via Ferrata. But first, let’s get some context elements! If the region is now extremely popular for outdoor activities, it’s not only due to its gigantism and beautiful sceneries.

The Dolomites actually have a quite harsh history, going back to World War I. All the paths taken in this episode haven't always been places of sharing and exchanges between hikers, mountaineers (and sometimes mountain bikers). Both Italians and Austrians have excavated these lines with their hands, before getting on dreadful battles.

It’s important to clarify the fact that these trails, where I do what I love most today, have not been used and intended for these reasons. Far from it actually!
But when the change follows this direction, when a war zone becomes a place of exchange, it's reassuring!

Credit Pierre Henni

Credit Pierre Henni

Unlike other destinations, I started this trip with a full week of tracking. I spent my time to carrying my bike on my back, sleeping in different mountain shelters. I had to turn around for quite many summits…
Antoine Montegani shared this experience with me during the first days. He has much more experience than me in this environment. Basically, he was my « reason », able to say « STOP » when we really had to stop. The Dolomites are very steep and unstable but in the heat of the moment, I’m fully aware I’m not reasonable enough and I’m able to forget how dangerous mountains can be. Sharing these moments with a trusted friend is paramount!

The images speak for themselves. Your Via Ferrata can quickly become very delicate and risky due to landslides and changing weather. All these elements make the expedition delicate but it pushes us to be constantly focused. This is the key to success! Being aware, accepting the risks or giving up is a difficult exercise. Especially when you have a bike with you!

Credit Pierre Henni

Credit Pierre Henni

Credit Pierre Henni

I was voluntarily under pressure for this episode, even before the first tracking. Mistakes are not allowed, which means you need to be prepared. As you can be prepared for a major race or a job interview eventually... Before each technical line, I had to respect a simple process : put myself into my bubble, analyse, anticipate and then ride!

It’s like a rehearsal. Where nothing else but the tracks matters. By this, I mean You have to forget about the steepness of the cliff, about any interference, about absolutely anything that could disrupt the success of your line. These elements are all parts of the scenery, but you must absolutely focus on the one and only line. Looking both your hands brushing the cable life line, without touching it, and choosing your line to the nearest centimeter. There is no place for doubts!

In this bubble, I remember feeling everything in slow motion. You are able to anticipate the smallest details and you know in advance that everything will be fine for the rest of your descent.

Credit Pierre Henni

Credit Pierre Henni

Credit Pierre Henni

The concept is not only to test yourself on dangerous trails. This is not a show nor a race to the narrowest path. Through mountain biking, I discover magic places. Some of you could tell me that you can walk there too. Except that I give a lot of importance to my riding skills. As a reward after every summit, I know that I will then be able to express myself and please myself. In this episode, I also wanted to add a real notion of piloting to the impressive and offbeat aspect of the ridden spots.

Credit Pierre Henni

Speaking of spots, you'll find three distinct ones in this video. After a nice exploration of the Tre Cime region, we stopped at La Marmolada. The highest peak of the Dolomites, also called the "Queen of the Dolomites".

I must say that it was impressive! To replace it in the episode, the « Queen of the Dolomites » appears after the dam, at the imposing glacier. We have also ridden long smooth faces, previously carved by the advanced of the same glacier.

The spot is huge, that's amazing! Definitely a different style from the Tre Cime but all these mountains are a reminder that you are nothing. A simple stone would make you disappear ...
A few meters away, gigantic blocks of ice stand out and burst on the rock, in a huge noise that is spreading throughout the valley. It's a special atmosphere!

30 seconds later, the contrast is obvious. Absolute calm except for a slight sound of water flowing and a few birds flying over the glacier.

Credit Pierre Henni

Restless or quieter moments, you must maintain the same level of alert while exploring mountains. If the trails are not always technicals, let's not forget that we live in a different environment than our local bike parks, where everything is done to provide a safe environment for mountain bikers.

To finish, we were closed to Val Di Sole. Very close by one of the most steep and difficult downhill track worldwide. It’s actually part of the same resort. Above, the forest gives way to rocky terrain and famous Via Feratta. Some forced us to make adjustments on the bike. Always related to the video, I remember this narrow rift where I could barely sneak into.

Credit Pierre Henni

A last episode very intense, to end the season on a great note. A new experience as stressful as exciting that allowed me to discover more than just landscapes. Each trip, you discover and learn more about yourself!

I am obviously available to answer all your questions.
It is now time to focus on future projects. Feel free to share with me new ideas!

See you soon,
Kilian


64 Comments

  • + 26
 I am more amazed by the last pic than the video
  • + 5
 Yes what is that? A thermal diaper?
  • + 13
 To be honest I have no interest in riding trails like that. Self preservation I guess. I know that my skills aren't up to the task. Really cool to watch though.
  • + 4
 Yeah, risk vs reward on that stuff just wouldn't work out for me, but yeah, pretty incredible all the same
  • + 1
 @el-nombre: Yeah, I whole lotaa "f#ck that sh!t" went through my mind watching that. Cool to watch, never gonna get close to doing myself.
  • + 7
 If it looks steep and scary on video...it's probably twice as much in real life. Awesome, and I mean it in the true sense of the word. Especially the last photoWink
I can appreciate the sentiment about knowing when to say STOP> as well.
  • + 6
 It doesn't take much in the way of height to freak the average person out. Wow surprised this didn't get comments like crazy. His riding and filming are amazing and those trails are clif hangers for sure. One of the best videos I've ever seen.
  • + 10
 Geez.. and I thought Portal was scary.
  • + 1
 Portal is weird bc it's not that hard, but I see that sign and it freaks me out, so I walk. I've def. done stuff harder and just as exposed, let's face it, falling 50 feet can kill you too. But that sign phsyces me out.
  • + 6
 I probably enjoy exposed riding more than most, but this is just a bit silly! Especially at those speeds. Still well filmed and a stunning location. Heart rate ups just watching this more than most other riding vids...
  • + 6
 Riding things where a simple mistake can cause death = free climbers. Ante with your ego to gamble your life.

Beautiful scenery.
  • + 3
 True, but that being said, the number of accidental deaths under the most mundane circumstances that happens to top athletes and race car drivers or bike riders always surprises me (Schumaker, Nicky Hayden...)
  • + 3
 I rode in the Dolomites last summer, and the jaw-dropping scenery and amazing trails were like no other. Andreas from rideonmtb www.rideonmtb.it/en/dolomiten was our guide and took us on some amazing trails. I'd definitely recommend him if riding along a 600 ft cliff isn't your style.
  • + 1
 Wash down some amazing riding with Knodel, apfl strudel, and a Forst.
  • + 3
 I never post in these comment sections, but I have to today...wow. Seriously sick looking trails with consequences that put them far past the realm of my imagination for shreddy good times
  • + 4
 what I would call a 50p/20p trail as that is the dimensions your arsehole goes through when riding summit like that.
  • + 1
 My old Uncle, who is frightfully British, says "half-a-crown, sixpence".
  • + 1
 Curious about Tre Cime. Was this filmed when it was closed and they just got special access? Because when I was there, it didn't matter what time, the place was packed. Its crazy popular and some of the shots are overlooking the most popular trails and there would always be people there.
  • + 1
 That was the most epic things I've seen in awhile. Whoever is editing these vids is a rock star. Big props to Killian too because Via Feretta trails are no joke when you're harnessed in, let alone on a bike with no safety net. Amazing skills all around! Locals can get a taste of via feretta in Tremblant or in BC and they are awesome!
  • + 1
 That ones going into the "Favorite" list! Used to go to bobsleigh races in the Dolomite mountains in Cortina, they have to be the most easily distinguished mountains in the world.
  • + 4
 Amazing and terrifying in equal measures!
  • + 1
 I don't personally get the appeal, of almost certain death, if a real error is made. Clearly this guy is much more sure of what his bike is going to do, than I am of mine. Nicely shot video however.
  • + 5
 Home
  • + 1
 Then you are a lucky dude. Had an amazing time last year staying in San Vito just south of Cortina. Ettoro Bovero, Ferrata D'Alpini and Ski Club 18 were amazing VF's.
  • + 2
 since you seemed pretty calm about that, I took it upon myself to vomit for you.
  • + 4
 Simply stunning.
  • + 3
 That was stressful to watch
  • + 1
 I have to hike a bike through some pretty annoying vegetation tunnels where I live, and I have never once thought about turning my handlebars like that. Game changer.
  • + 1
 There's so many sections he just flies over that i would probably spend 10 minutes looking at it, walking up to, and then chickening out on.
  • + 1
 Wow what insane landscape, crazy guy riding some of that stuff. Well edited too, love a good ticking clock Big Grin
  • + 2
 Clipless?? No THANK YOU!!
  • + 1
 Incredible riding and terrain..... but seriously what is wrong with that guy?
  • + 2
 Why was he heating the tip of an ice tool?
  • + 1
 dramatic effect..??
  • + 1
 A truly impressive edit! Loved every second even while it made my palms sweat and almost induce vomiting.
  • + 1
 By far the best mtb video ever...
I would appreciate If you could prove me wrong by posting your favs Wink
  • + 1
 loved the video, scenery, riding, the whole works. But i could easily live without the Skoda advertisement.
  • + 22
 While we can enjoy watching it for free somebody needs to pay the bills. These videos cannot be made from thin air...
  • + 2
 What Skoda?
  • + 1
 Balls of Steel and serious tekkers!! Impressive stuff!
  • + 1
 If this didn't make your palms sweat, you should check your pulse.
  • + 1
 Scary mountain ride... move over Danny!!!
  • + 1
 those landscapes are surreal!!!!
  • + 2
 That was incredible!
  • + 1
 Loved that....amazing riding and scenery
  • + 1
 What's that cable around that rock for, safety cable for the camera man?
  • + 1
 Another VOY for KB. Congrats!
  • + 2
 Amazing ride
  • + 1
 Amazing. This man sure does have mind control under control
  • + 1
 Lots of exposure, great rider.
  • + 1
 Video of the Year for me!
  • + 1
 HMTB=highmountainbiking. sick.
  • + 1
 pushing the limits, what it's all about
  • + 1
 T'es un grand malade Kilian !!!! C'est beau !!
  • + 1
 Yeah, nah.
  • + 1
 That last pic...
  • + 1
 Great, thanks!
  • + 1
 awesome
  • + 1
 Yup that was a belter.
  • + 1
 y tho?
  • + 1
 By ek
  • + 1
 So good
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