UNESCO Trail Brischeru

“Don’t let the snow stop you.” With this though in mind I took off with my bicycle and a pair of snow shoes to ride the Finnu-MTB-Tour, with a short stretch on the Unesco trail Brischeru.

finnu

After passing through the little villages of Eggerberg and Eggen on well cleaned roads the snow started to appear.

finnu

At Finnu it was time to change to the snowshoes for the short climb up to Chastler.

finnu

View south into the valleys Saasertal and Mattertal. The mountains of the Mischabel are covered with clouds.

finnu

The Unesco trail Brischeru, where snowshoeing meets mountainbiking

finnu

The villages of Brig-Glis and Naters from where I started today.

Distance: 39 km
Difference in altitude: 1100 m

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Winter Walk: Lake Geneva – The Chillon Castle

Short water walk from Villeneuve to the medieval Chillon Castle and back to welcome the astronomical winter. On my way back to Villeneuve I paid a short visit to the Ile de Peilz. Its look changed a bit since my last visit.

Chillon Castle

getting into the water at Villeneuve

Chillon Castle

On the way Chillon Castle

Chillon Castle

Approaching Chillon Castle

Chillon Castle

Medieval water closets coming into view. Let’s hope nobody still uses them.

Ile de Peilz

Approaching Ile de Peilz

Ile de Peilz

Leaving Ile de Peilz

Temperatures: 6°C air, 7°C water
Wind: 4-5 km/h
Distance: 7 km

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Winter Walk: Lago di Mergozzo

A nice walk over the water of Lago di Mergozzo.

Lago di Mergozzo

Lago di Mergozzo: along the Via Filippo Turati in direction to Verbania

Lago di Mergozzo

Lago di Mergozzo: just in front of the camping grounds at the border of the lake oposite to Mergozzo

Lago di Mergozzo

Lago di Mergozzo: along the Monte Orfano towards Mergozzo

Lago di Mergozzo

Lago di Mergozzo: the town of Mergozzo coming into view

Lago di Mergozzo

Lago di Mergozzo: time to get out of the water again

temperatures: 7°C air, 8°C water
wind: not noticeable
distance: 6 km

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Ile de Peilz

Today I went for some stand up paddling to the Ile de Peilz. A small island in the lake geneva, just in front of Villeneuve.

Ile de Peilz

Ile de Peilz

It‘s the same small island Lord Byron describes in his poem „The Prisoner of Chillon“.

And then there was a little isle,

Which in my very face did smile,

The only one in view;

A small green isle, it seem’d no more,

Scarce broader than my dungeon floor,

But in it there were three tall trees,

And o’er it blew the mountain breeze,

And by it there were waters flowing,

And on it there were young flowers growing,

Of gentle breath and hue.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Prisoner_of_Chillon

Many things have changed since then. There are no flowers on the island, and of the three tall trees, only one, but a huge one, still exists today. The roots of this tree started to destroy the walls holding the island together, as the it grow bigger and bigger.
The whole island has been restaured in 2010, and now it looks like new.
This was my first visit of the island. And it was like I imagined – just beautiful.

Ile de Peilz

Ile de Peilz

Ile de Peilz

Ile de Peilz

temperatures: 15-18°C air, 15°C water
wind: not noticeable
distance: 10 km

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Alta Rezia Day 3: Trailsurfing from Mals to Scuol (Italy / Switzerland)

The last stage of our Alta Rezia Tour let us back into Switzerland. After the challenging stage from yesterday this day promised to be an easy one, with just the Passo di Slingia as major obstacle. After yesterdays frost I was pleased to see just a rainbow over the forests of Val Mustair. I took this as a good sign, what it was. The weather was nice and dry, with occasional clouds obscurring the sun.

Rainbow over Val Mustair

Rainbow over Val Mustair

Val Venosta Superiore

Val Venosta Superiore

Valle di Slingia

Valle di Slingia

Val d'Uina

Val d’Uina

Val d'Uina

Val d’Uina

Profil stage 3

Profil stage 3

Statistics: 41.5 km, uphill 1719 hm, downhill 1462 m, travel time 6 h 31 min

Statistics Alta Rezia Tour:
167.1 km, uphill 5828 m, downhill 5906 m, travel time 22 h (17 h in movement)

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Alta Rezia Day 2: Trailsurfing from Livigno to Mals (Italy)

On the morning of day 2 of our adventure white frost was covering the grass on the hills beside the hotel in Livigno. But the rising sun was already melting them away. After a quick breakfast we were ready. And so was the sun.
Our first plan was to ride through the Valle Alpisella, and then further on in direction to the Passo Pedenolo. But we had to change our plan, as a mountain bike race through the Valle Alpisella had just started, and the first racers were already aproaching. We felt like some wrong-way drivers on a highway. Fortunately there was an alternative: Passo di Trela. And indeed, it was perfect. The climb to the pass was on single trails only, some of them actually under construction. At first the downhill was on a nice single trail perfect for trailsurfing. But after arriving at the Alpe Trela we were back on a unpaved road, and soon the Lago di San Giacomo di Fraele came into view.

construction work on MTB trail leading up to Passo Trela

construction work on MTB trail leading up to Passo Trela

Passo Trela

Passo Trela

Downhill from Passo Trela

Downhill from Passo Trela

Lago San Giacomo di Fraele

Lago San Giacomo di Fraele

After the flat stretch along Lago di San Giacomo and Lago Cancano we were prepared for the long climb up to the Passo Pedenolo, and further on to the Passo Forcola. The singletrail going from Passo Forcola down to Pass Umbrail was perfect for trailsurfing. Up, down, left and right – just steep enough to allow a perfect flow. And lucky for me, I had nobody in front of me who slowed me down. The endorphines set free on this trail helped me climbing the last pass of this day: the Passo Stelvio (and the up to the Rifugio di Garibaldi – 2845 m).

First climb to the Passo Pedenolo

First climb to the Passo Pedenolo

Passo Pedenolo

Passo Pedenolo

Passo Forcola

Passo Forcola

Passo Stelvio

Passo Stelvio

The last part of todays stage was the Lago d‘Oro -Trail. Starting at the Rifugio di Garibaldi we surfed on this trail until Malghe di Stelvio, where we had to leave the trail and head down to Stelvio and further on to Mals on paved roads. It was just an hour before darkness, when we arrived at the hotel in Mals. A wonderful day was laying behind us.

Trail Lago d'Oro

Trail Lago d’Oro

Trail Lago d'Oro

Trail Lago d’Oro

Statistics: 81.2 km, uphill 2519 hm, downhill 3234 m, travel time 11 h 17 min

Profil Stage 2

Profil Stage 2

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Alta Rezia Day 1: Trailsurfing from Saglians to Livigno (Switzerland / Italy)

Three days of trailsurfing in Alta Rezia was standing on the plan. On the first day we started at the train station Saglians (1400m), not far from the small village Susch in the canton Graubünden, and took direction towards Zernez, and then further to S-Chanf. There was a nice cycle path in parallel to the main road, full with cars and motorcycles, leading up and down through the forest. A nice and easy start into our 3-day adventure. After arriving at S-Chanf we turned into Val Trumpchun, and then right into Val Chaschauna.

Val Trupchun

Val Trupchun

The forest road let us through an beautiful valley, with a 400 meter high wall waiting at its end. No chance of cycling up there, the bicycles had to be pushed, and sometimes carrying them was easier. But every mountain has its end, and every pass will be climbed given enough time. And (not so) soon we arrived on top of todays tour: Pass Chaschauna (2694m)

Val Chaschauna

Val Chaschauna

Pass Chaschauna

Pass Chaschauna

The following downhill down towards Livigno (1805m) was mostly on unpaved roads. I look right and left for some single trails, but, except for some tiny shortcuts, couldn’t find any.

Downhill South Pass Chaschauna

Downhill south of Pass Chaschauna

Downhill just short before Livigno

Downhill just short before Livigno

All in all it had been a nice start into this MTB weekend. The next day would be the Queen stage.

Statistics: 44.4 km, uphill 1590 m, downhill 1210 m, travel time 5 h 50 min

Profil

Profil

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