Man Vs Hill: Rocher de Roquebrune | Extreme E-Bike Climbing

Man Vs Hill: Rocher de Roquebrune | Extreme E-Bike Climbing


– Back in 1953, when Edmund
Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing scaled the world’s highest mountain. It marked a really
important moment in time that the pursuit of
height had reach a zenith. From that point on, quality and difficulty with the new criteria in
the mountaineering world. Good job then, then
maybe today’s challenge is 28 times lower. (light electronic music) mountain biking hasn’t
really had the same appetite for tackling big mountains,
not going up at least. But I guess it’s Danny MacAskill on the Keulen Ridge and Skye, or Chris A Keurig in his film Five. Quality and difficulty, Oh yes. But, we can all dream,
le Rocher de Roquebrune. Now, myself and jack were
here only a few months ago, and we thought wow, one
day that is one hill we should take on as a challenge. But now we’re here, it’s all
a little bit more daunting than we thought it was,
it’s a lot steeper, it’s a lot more exposed. However, today’s
challenge is to ride there as far as we can, but as
you can see the top pits are a little bit more
vertical than we thought. So me and Jack are just arguing how much water to take at the minute. I’ve got a big old rock
there, pretty exposed to clear blue skies,
so probably best to go on the safe side, right Jack? – [Jack] Probably. – Yeah. – [Jack] As much as we can. – Two bottles for me and
one big bottle for Jack. (light beat music) now the approach seems
to be pre-mellow gradient conglomerate with some loose rocks, but already, I’m into some trials terrain. So I’m just feeling my way into the hill, the grip on the rocks
seems absolutely amazing, so, can’t wait to get up to the more technical bits higher up. (upbeat electronic music) I’m often asked how high and how steep you can ride on an E-bike. The answer is pretty straight forward, it depends, it depends on the gradient and surfaces and technicality, and of course rider
skill and fitness, whoa. (light eletronic music) so E-bike is taking us
to these new places, what is the attraction? Well, it’s gone into the unknown places that are unfamiliar in so many respects. As you can see, we’ve
gone from open mountain and rock into the bush. Now, we’re into root, rock,
earth and much mellow gradients but still, it’s amazing terrain to ride. Look at this, oh my god it’s so good. (light electronic music) (laughs) how that look cool? (Jack mumbles) (laughs) – Well, these are the struggles of riding trail you do not know. Great stuff, look at
that, amazing, ‘mazing. Should just stop, reset, gather yourself and you can see how this trail are axed through up the hill, wow. (light electronic music) wow, yay.
(laughs) wow.
we knew it was gonna be steep, but think we’ve slightly
underestimated this one. That’s the challenge of
having a 20 kilo bike when things get well off-track. It’s a good workout though, I’m soaking. Head soaking wet. It’s waiting to break
throughout these trees. Hopefully, we made some progress. (light electronic music) (beep) now deco, saint-like (beep) pedal. (light electronic music) wow, I’ve never done
anything like that before, that’s pretty exposed there Jack. Think done it all so far. It’s not just about getting at the top, the thing is the adventure
of making your way there. Definitely been an adventure so far. (light electronic music) But hike biking does seem
to become a normal thing to do on a mountain
bike, but on an E-bike, it’s all about how far
you ride up a mountain. Well, today I think we
definitely got it wrong. Probably, our scoping out the
route wasn’t up to scratch. However, some mini-struggles
and triumphs on the route to the top, and now we’ve
got some really nice extended slab sections to ride, just can’t wait to get stuck into. (upbeat drum music) in the bush, now we’re
gonna get more rocks, more ropes no doubt,
carrying a 20 kilo bike. This time, we definitely got it wrong on this climb to the top. Jack next time, find a smoother hill, it’s all about scoping the
terrain before you tackle it. Looking at the contours,
looking at photographs, checking it out on the internet, like we did earlier but maybe
with a little bit more detail, and a bit more local knowledge
involved on the route. So we’ve just come on the corner and we got ahead of us something which looks pretty inaccessible,
I can hear some chains dangling up down the distance for some walkers getting up there. I’m thinking we get to the top, and all it’s gonna be is
a tourist shot anyway. So, I reckon we just get
at the top, take a snap, come back down, leave the
bike here and we crack on down on some nice single track
down the bottom of the hill. So, it’s about enjoying ourselves, and rather than trying
to punish ourselves, and what’s gonna be probably
like a 50 minute hike. We’ll climb up a vertical
slope, so you reckon Jack? – Yeah alright.
– Yeah. – [Jack] Leave the bike here. – Okay, leave the bike
here, go to the top, tourist snap, back down, boom. As you can see, this is pretty
insanely steep massive rocks. So, let’s just get up
here, bit of a scramble. Wow, gonna take us probably
50 minutes to hike a bike up this cliff face, and
that’s one of the things about unknown summits
is that you come across these alien features, which you got to manage during your trip. So actually, is this EMBN or
is this Global Hiking Network? More like Global Rock Climbing
Network, it’s ridiculous. (light dramatic music) (groans slightly) oh my god. (upbeat dramatic music) (groaning loudly) How would I do this? (light electronic music) wow, Rocher de Roquebrune, 1000 for dead. – [Other Climbers] Yeah. – Do you know what? There is always somebody
about a quarter of your age, with a dog and a cat climb up the hill. Down there, Mediterranean
heading east to Frejus. and west looking across to
Marseille and on to Spain. What a spot, I think it’s time to get the hell off this hill. We’re barely 20 meters off the summit, already this is massive boulder fields, which we’re gonna wrestle my bike down. Oh that’s a nice position, look at that. Check that out under the
shoulder or over the shoulder that is a how-to, how to carry
an E-bike down a rock face. Oh, I hope it’s gonna get easier. Ah nice, it seems to be a little bit of a five minute rest bite here. (laughs) oh dear, right come on let’s go. Oh, I didn’t expect it to be quite savage coming down this hill, oh! (upbeat eletronic music) (bike brakes) six not five hours, wow! Well, we almost made it to the
top of Rocher de Roquebrune. I think we were about there 40 meters off, but I think the great thing
is about that spontaneity on an E-bike, just to
tackle something like that at the-spur-of-the-moment. And we were rewarded, we got at the top, went down the other side. Super technical riding off to the side, but we were rewarded with about, don’t know must have been four, five miles of really good quality
technical single track. And then it’s those kinda
surprises that I think which are the great thing
about riding E-bikes. So I think for now, we need
to go back to the cafe, for a coffee and a bit more reflection. So, le Rocher de Roquebrune,
can you climb it on E-bike? No you cannot, but that
does not mean to say you can’t have some good fun exploring a fantastic bit of France while you do so. So do you know what? It was a 1000 feet, I
think that was the slowest I climbed a 1000 feet in my life. And when I mentioned earlier
that it was actually 28 times lower than Everest, it was
actually one 29th of Everest. So you go, hope you like the video. If you wanna see some more
rock climbing videos of me, back check them out the
year I did with Chris Smith. In the meantime, give thumbs
up if you like the video. And then you can subscribe
to EMBN and let us know your thoughts on climbing E-bikes.