Video: Ludo May Rides to the Summit of Petit Combin & Back Down Again

Nov 11, 2020
by Ludo May  

The Swiss mountain biker, Ludo May, releases his 10th episode of the series "Ludo et son vélo".

In this episode entitled Petit Combin, Ludo May takes you to the summit of the Petit Combin, in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of 3'663m (12’017 feet). For this crazy adventure, Ludo has invited his friends and renowned athletes, Jérôme Caroli (downhill mountain biking) and Jérémie Heitz (freeride skiing), to join him. Together, they realized the sweet dream that the biker from Le Châble had for a long time: reaching the summit of the Petit Combin on his bike, all the way from his house.

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

The project of making an episode in an alpine environment and on snow with a bike has been maturing for more than five years. Ludo remembers: "We first talked about it with my friend and mountain guide, Daniel Coquoz, in autumn 2015, while we met in the mountains. Daniel came up with the idea of doing the Petit Combin by bike! ». That's all it took to get Ludo excited, so the basic idea of the project was launched. Now it remained to be seen to what extent the project was feasible. The following spring, the two friends decided to go on a ski touring expedition. The aim was to analyze the passages, the snow, the crevasses and simply to validate the feasibility of the project. On their return, all the lights seemed to be green, so all they had to do was find the right timing. In order to allow bike access and the possibility of riding on snow, the conditions needed to be hard snow, which had frozen overnight, but not too icy. Every spring for the next five years, Ludo and Daniel regularly analyzed the conditions and searched for possible timing. Everything seemed to fit together well, but each spring the same scenario was repeated: between the snow conditions, everyone's diaries and Ludo's trips abroad for competitions, the project had to be postponed each time.

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

After five years of postponement, the project was born in the spring of 2020, one of the most astounding years for the entire planet. As a result, there is not only bad news in this COVID-19 crisis; this project, which had become almost impossible in Ludo's eyes, is finally coming to fruition. Over the course of the discussions and years, with notably a big evolution in terms of equipment, the basic concept of the episode evolved somewhat and the idea retained was that of climbing the Petit Combin on an e-bike from the Châble (Verbier) where the biker lives.

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

In addition, Ludo decided to invite his friends and training companions, Jérôme Caroli (professional downhill mountain bike pilot) and Jérémie Heitz (professional freeride skier), to join the episode. The adventure took place over two days. The first stage took the three friends, not without difficulty, from the village of Le Châble to the Cabane Panossière (mountain hut) via Brunet.

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

After a (very) short night, the crossing of the Panossière glacier and the ascent of the Petit Combin are mostly done at night to experience the first light of day at the summit.

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Then follows a crazy descent on snow where the top speed reached was 90km/hour.

The key to this project: breathtaking landscapes, spectacular e-bike images at the foot of the Grand Combin and overexcited riders for whom riding on snow is no big deal.

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Episode 10 - Ludo et son v lo Petit Combin

Copyright photos: Jancsi Hadik

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30 Comments

  • 17 0
 Wooow! The beauty of the shots from 2:45 onwards. What a stunning planet we live on.
  • 3 0
 Thanks :-)
  • 2 2
 And we are doing everything in our hands to destroy it. sad.
  • 7 0
 The thumbnail really sums up snow riding in my experience.
  • 2 0
 I have had the chance to ride in Verbier and do part of that Trail going over the suspension bridge and up part of the glacier is an amazing experience.

I you ever get a chance to try Verbier out DO IT. Bike park is amazing also. They have a decent from the Bike park all the way down to the bottom of the valley that is something around 1000+ meters decent in around 5 to 6 km on a red enduro trail full of switchbacks. Scariest and most amazing thing I have ever done.
  • 2 0
 Chapeau! Très joli avec un ésprit honnête. Je le trouve aussi très beau que vous gardez vos langues maternelles. Ca rende la chose autant plus authentique. Belle aventure dans und très beau coin.
  • 1 0
 Merci ;-)
  • 1 0
 Beautiful! Reminds me a bit of a trip some fellow Austrian riders did some years ago: bikeboard.at/Board/Freeride-extrem-Projekt-Punta-Gnifetti-th138519 but they weren't as lucky with the descent (roped riding and all) - I'm sure your local expertise was essential to execute your idea so well. Chapeau!
  • 2 0
 Such inspirational video, love it!
  • 1 0
 Thanks a lot!
  • 5 5
 "If we have to carry the e-bikes it will be heavy won't it?" "Yes but we're in good shape" --> very contradictory imo but very pretty shots otherwise
  • 1 1
 Couldn't help wondering What if the battery dies half way up the mountain? Amazing adventure, the descent over the snow looked so satisfying.
  • 2 1
 Might have been easier on a light hardtail but then again how do you market and profit from that compared to ebikes?
  • 2 0
 I was wondering that too. They probably used the ebikes for marketing reasons. In alpine environments where you even have to carry the bike they are just dead weight. Personally I use walk assist as long as possibly because it's way more safer and energy saving than carrying 25kg wide load plus a backpack in steep terrain.
  • 1 0
 Thank you!!!
  • 1 0
 When I buy an e-bike, it ain't gonna be so I can carry it! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 (Awesome adventure though - beautiful.)
  • 1 0
 Thanks - amazing trek with incredible footage.
  • 1 0
 Thank you!!!
  • 1 0
 anyone else click beccause of the article photo. lol
  • 1 0
 The music made it really fun
  • 1 0
 Nice adventure.
  • 1 0
 Wow- beautiful photos Smile
  • 2 0
 Thank you :-)
  • 1 0
 That looks fun.
  • 1 0
 It was ;-) Thanks
  • 11 13
 e-bikes? Really?
  • 8 12
flag Frontrange (Nov 11, 2020 at 7:40) (Below Threshold)
 go away tool
  • 2 0
 @Frontrange: your the tool.

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