2021 Rhaetian Alps

Rhaetian Alps

The planned "Pacific West Coast" tour (America) is unfortunately not possible due to the current Corona situation. One the one hand, it's not allowed to enter America and Canada as a tourist at the moment, and on the other hand, the flights have been canceled. So I thought of an alternative. I don't know the "Rhaetian Alps" well, so I planned a 1-week Tour. The preparations were rather difficult here too, this time due to inconsistent weather. I decided to ride the touring bike. It could be cold in the mountains, I should have enough clothes with me. Now the bike has become a bit heavy, 14kg net, ... empty bottles. On the one hand good, if I have too much clothes with me ... then I would be lucky with the weather. On the other hand, I could use the warm and rainproof clothes .., the next few days will show ...

Rhaetian Alps; 1st stage:

Chur - Lenzerheide Pass (1549 m) - Tiefencastel - Albula Pass (2315 m) - La Punt - Celerina

80km, 2400hm

No warm up... The first hills begins immediately after Chur and I realize the difference between the racing bike and the touring bike 🤪

So everything goes a little slower 👍😂

I've just arrived dry and happy in Celerina...

Rhaetian Alps; 2nd stage:

Celerina - Bernina Pass (2330 m) - Tirano - Passo del Mortirolo (north driveway from Grósio, 1852m) - Passo - Aprica

The weather forecast was "from noon strong thunderstorms with southwest wind". With a really strong headwind, it was just enough dry over the Bernina...

In Tirano I only took a short coffee break. I decided against the well-known steep way from Mazzo, ..with my touring bike (14kg) it seemed too hard for me. The ascent from Grósio is partly steep, but not permanent.

During the ascent there was constant heavy rain and equally strong wind, ...it was hard! Once at the top, I put on dry and warm clothes ... apparently it was worth packing the warm clothes! Including the winter gloves!

I'm really happy to be in my warm hotel room!

Rhaetian Alps; 3rd stage:

Aprica - Edolo (675m) - Passo di Gavia (2618 m) - Bormio

Again the forecast is rainy

At the start at Aprica everything is still okay in terms of the weather ...

...but towards Edolo and Ponte di Legno it was getting darker...

In Ponte di Legno I had to wait at least for 1 hour...

Fortunately the rain stopped for a short time, then it started to snow...

Again I was lucky; There was a nice, cozy, warm restaurant at the top of the pass. At lunch - pannini with cheese and ham + coffee and cake - all clothes were drying.

Unfortunately, the mix of rain and snow didn't stop. So I moved on. I was lucky once again, on the descent it stopped snowing and raining, I arrived practically dry in Bormio.

What a day that was ..! The Passo di Gavia is a wonderful pass that I will never forget..!

Rhaetian Alps; 4th stage:

Bormio - Umbrailpass (2503 m) - Santa Maria - Ofenpass (2149 m) - Zernez - Scuol

Fortunately a dry start in Bormio. No warm up, the ascent begins just in the village 🤪

Actually, the ascent from Bormio wasn't that steep at all, .. rather long. There are some beautiful serpentines, .. if you like it 🤔..🤩

Umbrailpass summit:

The descent to Santa Maria was extremely cold. A local soup warmed me for the oven pass.

The Ofenpass is always nice, even when it gets cloudy and rainy again:

The last kilometers from Zernez to Scuol pass very quickly. Arrived at the hotel, no one is surprised ... it's raining again.

Rhaetian Alps; 5th stage:

Scuol - Norbertshöhe (1405m) - Nauders - Reschenpass (1455m) - Prad - Stilfser Joch (2758m) 🤩

I'm very happy about some rays of sunshine...

Looking back into the Engadin - the village "Martina"


At the Reschenpass:


48th turn:

First turn:

Again I'm lucky, as soon as I get to the top, it starts raining, ...again!

Afternoon walk:

If you're up here: I can recommend the sausage stand (in the 3rd picture, left). There are wonderful sausages (3 different to choose) with cabbage, apparently a traditional family business, up here for many years. In addition to these boring tourist shops, ...a highlight 🙏😊

Rhaetian Alps; 6th stage:

Stelvio Pass (2757m) - Bormio - Passo di Foscagno (2291m) - Passo d'Eira (2209m) - Forcola di Livigno
(2315m) - Bernina Pass (2330m) - Malojapass (1815m) - Chiavenna

The start is cold as expected. Fortunately, I have warm clothes with me:

I'm not motivated on the "Passo di Foscagno". Lots of traffic and strong headwinds 🙄 But beautiful at the top 😊

The Passo d'Eira (2209m) is almost given for free.

After a small lunch in Livigno, the motivation comes ... less traffic, but headwind as before.

Very strong headwind on the Bernina. I also had to press the pedal towards to Pontresina, even the descent 🙄🤪

From St. Moritz to the Malojapass I had a tail wind, which turned on the south side .. 🙄


Rhaetian Alps; 7th stage:

Chiavenna - Splügenpass (2113m) - Splügen - Thusis - Chur

Comfortable start to the day:

The north wind only blows once on the Splügen Pass towards Chur. 90km headwind 🙄🤪

Happy at the final destination, Chur:


Conclusion of the tour:

Often it is different from what you imagine. I had a lot of rain, ...even more headwind. With a 14kg bike (including luggage, empty drinking bottles) the tour was really tough. Warm clothing was necessary, the touring bike with fixed fenders and small gears (50-34) - (11-34) was really needed. I was very happy with the lowest gear!

I was rewarded with a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, great Natur, mostly peace and quiet ... because there was often little traffic.

I liked the "Passo di Gavia" best. The "Prad - Stilfser Joch" ascent was also great, especially because there was unexpectedly little traffic - probably due to unpredictable weather.

Finally, I am grateful: I had no bike pans, no dangerous situations and no health problems.

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