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The Alpine Escape - Gravel - September 2024

The Alpine Escape - Gravel - September 2024

Regular price £200.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £200.00 GBP
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The first-ever Gravel Escape is coming...

Escape Dates : September 8th to 14th 2024

Go higher than ever before, away from the traffic

Alpine Gravel is the ultimate adventure landscape, and our Gravel Escape will allow you to experience complete isolation, away from the roads, traffic, and people, and go higher than even the highest paved Cols. We'll ride up and over 3000m in altitude, which no paved Col in Europe can offer. 

Alpine Gravel offers incredible views, tough ascents, technical descents, and some incredibly beautiful riding that you need to experience to believe. Ride into and above Ski Resorts with views of Mont Blanc, ride to ancient roman forts where only a few dare go. Cross borders into Italy on remote, wild terrain, and do it all with the BoC team with a support crew on hand.

Semi - Supported

The Gravel Escape offers all the regular support you'd expect from a BoC Escape, including airport transfers, breakfasts, dinners, wine and beer, plus energy gels and bars. Whilst riding, you'll be led by a team of 3 BoC ride guides, who will make sure our group is on track and provide all the local insight you need.

Due to the wild and remote terrain, there is no daily van support, like on our Road Escapes, however, we do have a rescue service vehicle that is on call to collect you from the nearest road, in the event of a ride ending mechanical. We'll also take your bike to a local mechanic for repair if required, to get you riding the next day.

The Gravel Escape Itinerary 

Day 1 : Arrival + Warm Up Ride 

Distance : 30km : Elevation 1100m.

After transferring you from Geneva Airport to our base at Maison Caramel in Landry, we'll build our bikes, enjoy a light lunch, and then head out on our first ride of the week. We stay local today, riding up to Peiesy-Nancroix which sits above our chalet. Today we ride on some mixed terrain with rougher asphalt, before we experience the first true Alpine Gravel of the Escape. A road descent follows as we drop down the mountain to the the chalet for dinner.

Day 2 : Mont Jovet - Bozel to Landry

Distance : 60km : Elevation 2000m.

Our first point to point ride of the Escape. Our day begins with a drive to the pretty village of Bozel, which sits beneath the famous ski resorts of Meribel and Courchevel. 

From here, we begin climbing immediately on some simply epic gravel roads. Our destination is the Refuge de Mont Jovet where we can enjoy a drink to recover. We then descend back down more stunning gravel trails to Notre Dame du Pre. A quaint village in the Tarentaise Valley that has been part of every BoC Alpine Escape to date. From here, a fast, flowing tarmac descent awaits as we roll back to Landry for dinner and drinks.

Day 3 : Col de la Chal + Fort de la Redoute

Distance : 83km : Elevation 3100m.

A huge ride today on some of the finest and most challenging gravel you may ever ride. Our day begins with a 20 minute drive up to the village of Peiesy Nancroix. From here, we begin our ride into the sky. The rocky and steep climb to the Col de la Chal is brutal. 9km, with over 1100m of elevation gain. But the reward at the summit is the stunning view of Mont Blanc. 

From here, we're at 2300m in altitude, and we drop down into the ski resort of Les Arcs, all on fine gravel roads. A further paved descent takes us down into Villaroger, before we climb again on the off-road trails to La Rosiere. Our destination is the stunning Fort de la Redoute, which sits high on a ridgeline overlooking the famous Col du Petit St Bernard below. A steep and technical decent follows, before we climb once again and cross the Petit St Bernard for the first time this week. 

The Gravel here is mind blowing. So quiet, so scenic, but you're in sight of famous Tour de France Cols. A descent down to Bourg St Maurice follows for coffee, before an easy spin back to Landry for dinner. 

Day 4 : Fort de la Platte (recovery day)

Distance : 42km : Elevation 1500m.

A shorter day today as we recover from a big day on day 3. Today we stay close to Landry and Bourg St Maurice, and visit the ancient Fort de la Platte, built in the 1800s. 

We begin by climbing the famous Cormet de Roselend for a few KM's before a sharp left brings us onto a steep and twisty climb which begins as tarmac and soon becomes gravel. With over 35 switchbacks, this road is so quiet and peaceful, and overlooks the whole of the Tarentaise valley below. 

Once we reach for the fort, we have two options, retrace our ride back, or push on with a little hike a bike to the 5 Lakes. We'll see how the legs feel and make the call. 

Back down to Bourg St Maurice for lunch at the excellent Pause Coffee and Kurtos, we'll finish the day earlier, and prepare our bikes and bodies for a big day ahead.

Day 5 : The Queen Stage - Crossing Borders 

Distance :85km : Elevation 3000m.

A simply incredible ride today as we climb high above Bourg St Maurice, reach the Chavannes Valley, and the Col de la Seigne. 

With 80% of this route being on Alpine Gravel, we're in for a true day of epic riding. We cross into Italy high above the Col du Petit St Bernard, return to France on wild and remote terrain, and experience wildlife you'll almost never see from the road. We'll also come agonizingly close to Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. 

We'll cross valleys, ride alongside multiple mountain peaks, and in the end, return back to Bourg St Maurice for beer and celebrations of one of the most epic days you may ever have on a bike.

Day 6 : Cormet de Areches

Distance : 68km : Elevation 2300m.

After 5 incredible days of riding, we may have saved the best for last. The Cormet de Areches. An area rich in beautifully wild, remote and scenic gravel. We'll ride to and above multiple Alpine lakes, visit refuges for drinks, and enjoy a last descent down to Bourg St Maurice. If the weather is kind, we'll enjoy a refreshing swim in a lake near Aime to finish a memorable week of riding. 

All that's left is to return to Landry, pack the bikes, and enjoy a final dinner before we fly home on Saturday.

Day 7 : Departure Day 

This trip is limited to just 12 places.

Ride Wild

To enter the Gravel Escape you must ensure you are comfortable with riding in isolated locations. You MUST have a GPS unit with route guidance, and be relatively self-sufficient, in the event of basic mechanicals, such as punctures. Alpine Gravel is wild, and phone signal is not always guaranteed, so you must be confident in your ability to ride in those conditions. The BoC ride guides will never be far away, but you must ensure you have our required items with you for each ride. 

What is Included?

  • 6 night stay in a shared twin room in our Alpine Chalet - complete with outdoor hot tub, and en suite bathrooms.
  • A Single bedroom (With Shared Bathroom) is available with a £250 supplement
  • Daily cooked breakfasts and three course dinners - cooked in house by our private chef, served with wine at dinner.
  • In house laundry service
  • Ride Guides from Band of Climbers
  • All energy gels, drinks and bars
  • Airport transfers to and from Geneva Airport in private vehicles
  • 1 x Exclusive Band of Climbers Escapes Jersey

What is not included?

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Spare parts or equipment
  • Medical Cover
  • Bike hire
  • Coffee or cafe-bought snacks/lunch during rides
  • Additional nights accommodation

Please note all guests will be required to sign an entry waiver in order to take part in a Band of Climbers Escape. The waiver will be sent to you after your place on the Escape is confirmed. 

Essential Kit

In order to enter the Gravel Escape, you MUST carry the following items with you each day. This kit list is for your safety, as the environments we are crossing are wild and very remote.

  • Gravel Bike with a minimum of 35mm tyres. Hardtail MTB's are also allowed as is any offroad bike with suitable tyres and gearing.
  • GPS Device (routes are not waymarked)
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Survival blanket
  • Long Finger Gloves
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Spare Warm Hat
  • Spare warm top or insulated jacket
  • Spare inner tube and tyre levers (at least 1 tube)
  • Mini-Pump
  • Multitool with chain links/breaker
  • Rear light
  • Mobile phone
  • A minimum of 1.5 litres of water

Recommended Kit

We strongly recommend carrying/using the following on the Gravel Escape

  • At least 1:1 Gearing (some of the ascents are very steep and technical)
  • Whilst 35mm tyres are the minimum required widths, we recommend going wider. 45mm is ideal, running lower pressures will give you more grip on the steep and loose alpine climbs and descents.
  • Tubeless Tyres 
  • Spare Mech Hanger
  • Front Light
  • Chain Lube 
  • Basic First Aid Kit


Total cost for the Escape is £1850.00 per person. £200 non-refundable deposit is payable upon booking your place, with the balance of £1650 to be paid 14 weeks before the Escape begins.

All prices include VAT and taxes where applicable. For any questions about the trip, please email us at

Recommended Flight Info 

Arrivals : Please fly into Geneva Airport BEFORE 11:00am on Sunday 8th September 2024, in order to join our scheduled transfer for our riders at circa 11:30am. If you cannot find a flight that lands before 11:00am. We suggest flying in a day early, on the 7th, and staying in an airport hotel overnight (not included).

Departures : Please book a return flight AFTER 09.30am from Geneva Airport o Saturday 14th September to your chosen destination. Our scheduled transfer is based on the earliest flight time of all guests. But your flight should not be before 09.30am due to the transfer time to the airport. Any flights booked before 09.30am will require a private transfer at an additional cost of £300.

Refunds and Cancellations

Read our guest, and organiser refund POLICY HERE.


How fit do I need to be?

BoC Escapes are not races, they're an adventure. We ride socially, with a cafe/coffee stop midway through each ride.

That said, BoC Escapes are tough. You'll ride 6 back to back big days with up to 4000m of climbing (13,000ft) per day.

We would suggest you should be capable of climbing for at least 90 minutes at a gradient of 7% without stopping. Average speeds are very difficult to gauge, but most riders on our Escapes will average at least 10kph per hour (6mph) on a climb of 7%. Some will ride much quicker of course, but you are free to ride at your own pace.

We would suggest the trip is for intermediate or above level riders, or those with at least some experience of riding in the mountains and a decent level of fitness. At no point will any rider be left behind on their own, as our guides will be on the road with you at all times.

We aim to ride as a group, although on long climbs we usually split up, before regrouping at the summits, or cafe stops if the temperatures at the summits are too cold.

Of course, some riders will be faster than others, but we try to keep any waiting times between the first and last riders reaching the summits to a minimum. You are free to ride at your own speed. This is not a race. It's a chance to test your own legs at your own pace.

Can I attend as a solo rider?

Absolutely! Around 95% of all our Escape riders come on their own. Making new friendships is a big part of our Escapes. This is why we cap numbers at a maximum of 16 riders.

How do shared rooms work?

1. We do not mix males and females in shared rooms (unless booked as a couple or on request by both parties)

2. All rooms are twin beds, with en suite bathrooms

3. Rooms are allocated at random, unless booked as pairs or couples.

4. We can allocate rooms to friends on request (email us once booked)

5. If we have one single female, on a trip of 10 male riders, the female will be given a single room, to avoid sharing with a male (unless requested). Likewise, if we have a trip with 10 females, a solo male will be given a single room.

6. 95% of our guests come as solo riders. Making new friendships is a big part of our Escapes. 

Can I have a single room?

Single rooms are available in some Escape Destinations with a supplement of £250. Single rooms must be booked with your deposit as a single room may not be available closer to the escape.

What support is available each day?

You will have 2 or 3 BoC ride guides on the road with you at all times. We'll ride with you, and ensure no rider is left behind.

We also have a support van on most Escapes (Excluding Mallorca) which carries tools, spares, and your bad weather kit, plus energy gels and food. So you don't need to carry anything.

If your legs decide to give up, or you need a rest, you are welcome to ride in the van and miss a climb or section if you need to, or end your ride early.

Can I rent a bike?

We can help you to rent a road bike in all of our Escape Destinations.

We can offer Basso Bike Rental in Mallorca, the Dolomites and the French Alps.

We do not rent bikes ourselves, but we have recommended rental partners in each destination and we can assist in the rental, pickup and return of your bike.

Are meals included?

All of our Escapes include Breakfasts and evening meals. In most locations, a set menu is offered with a 3 to 5 course evening dinner. Wine and Beer is included in some locations, but alcoholic drinks are extra in others.

We can cater for all dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free etc...

Each day, we eat breakfast and dinner together, around one table. This allows further friendships to form away from the road. The dining experience is a big part of our Escapes!

Lunch is not included, as we stop at a cafe mid way around each ride. A typical lunch stop will take 30-45 minutes, and you are free to eat/drink whatever you choose from our planned cafe.

Cancellations and Refunds

Please view our cancellation and refund policy. We offer a simple and flexible policy which allows you to simply transfer to any other future Escape (subject to availability) should you need to cancel, even at short notice.

Who is a typical Escape rider?

Our riders travel from all over the world. We've had riders from South America, Australia, Asia, North America and across Europe. usually very keen cyclists, most Escape riders are aged between 25 and 55, although we've had younger, and older too!

Most riders travel individually, but we've had small groups of friends, married couples, and father son combos too.

Can I bring a non-riding partner?

Yes! We can accommodate a non riding partner, and offer a discount of £150. To arrange this, book with the deposit option, and email us to explain that one guest will not be riding, and we'll arrange that discount from the final balance payment.

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