2021 Transalp – Westendorf –> Riva

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A fantastic 9.5 day trip down the western side of the Dolomites.

Day 0: Westendorf –> Gasthof Steinberg
Westendorf is a cute village. After a quick ice cream we pedalled gradually up the valley on a quiet tarmac road. A perfect warm up. The gasthof has a lovely location, great food and comfy beds. 12.5km, 180hm

Day 1: Gasthaus Steinberg –> Krimmler Tauernhaus
A gradual and rideable climb with a bit of trail to the top. Descent at the start along gravel until we turn off onto a small trail. Trail turns out to be fantastic and when we come to asphalt finally, we take another variant to wald im Pinzgau which is fun but has some extra climbing. Down in the valley the planned route is not allowed for bikes, so we follow the normal bike trail to Krimmelbach Falls. Eat lunch – average food but with a great view. Then we follow a closed road which has nonetheless quite a few cars – some taxis – best not to meet these in the long dark tunnels! Krimmler Tauernhaus has inviting tables outside for an aperitif before dinner. 43km, 1890hm

Day 2: Krimmler Tauernhaus –> Sand in Taufers
Cycling up valley which got progressively steeper until we hiked to the Krimmler Tauern pass at 2633m. From here a rocky but fun descent with numerous hairpins. Descended a final fun trail to Casere and then rode down to Predoi and had picknick outside supermarket.Weather looked dodgy so we decided against the 100m climb and went around the valley through Steinhaus to Sand in Taufers. B+B was nice and they organised some washing. Went out in nice village for pizza and gelati.
47km, 1279hm

Day 3: Sand in Taufers –> Funtanacia (Corvara)
Woke up to rain. As we aere in a nice guesthouse with a friendly owner, we got to watch the olympic MTB race over an extended breakfast. We got out soon after 10, called in to the local bike shop and then headed down the valley past Bruneck for an early picknick lunch on the floor in front of the church. Due to the lost time, we adapted the route and headed up the valley from San Lorenzo vie Enneberg to San Martin. The bike path which was officially closed provided a fun challenge crawling over and under fallen trees, but was otherwise a nice route to San Martin off the main road. In San Martin the wet weater cleared whilst we had coffee and cake and after much indecision we decided to continue up the valley towards Corvara and finally checked in at a hotel with wellness in Funtanacia just short of Corvara. Had another fine meal with buffet salad. Not the Gampenalm as planned but due to the weather probably the best option. 51.5km, 1058hm

Day 4: Corvara –> Weisslahmbad
Changed the planned route for today. Headed up bike path to Corvara, met up with Ian and then took a series of lifts to gein some altitude for dropping down to St Ulrich. Got a new brake lever at the bike shop and had an early picknick lunch. Took the lift up from St ulrich and then rode some nice trails across and then finally up to Schlernhaus. Weather had turned very wet again at this point. Weighed up the options but decided to continue the planned route. Some hike a bike and then up on the moor the gale force winds meant riding in a straight line was tough. Then all of a sudden the clouds cleared and it was dry again. Fantastic singletrails down with some long wooden bridges. Rain started again but in the true transalp spirit we took the trails down all the way to the fancy spa hotel at Weisslahmbad. The manager had us strip in the bike room and then we enjoyed pool and wellness before another fine meal. 55km, 3080hm

Day 5: Weisslahmbad –> Rifugio Refavaie
Started with a fun singletrail down to the valley. Then climbed forest trail to meet the main road at Nigerpass. From here some undulated XC style singletrails running parallel to the main road. Descent from Karerpass down to Morena and then along the asphalt cycle path in the valley to Predazzo for lunch. After food climbed up the steep asphalt road which turn into gravel before a couple of huts. From here it got tougher agin until we got to hike a bike over the big rocks to Passo Sadole. From the pass it continued traversing upwards in an energy sapping way and some hiking through trees before getting onto singletrail descent down to the lovely Refugio Refavaie where we met only other 2 bikers we had really seen. 50km, 2160hm

Day 6: Rifugio Refavaie –> Rifugio Barricata
Started with a beautiful climb up the valley along alpine meadows to Passo 5 Croci at 2018m. From here it climbed up a techy but rideable singletrail to Forcella Magna from where a long and rocky descent started followed by gravel trail to Malga Sorgazza for lunch. Hit another techy trail followed by gravel down to Pieve Tesino and continued down on route. About 2km befor Grigno there was a huge landslide – we tried to find the trail on the other side but couldn’t so had to go all the way back up to descend the main road down to Grigno. Arrived here after 4pm, tired and not in any mood for the 1000m climb up to the hut after an energy sapping day. Met a guy at the bar with a small truck who took the bikes whilst 6 of us rode up in the bar owner’s car. A classic end to the day! Barricata was really nice – we were the only ones staying the and the friendly owner opened a bottle for us on the house.
82km, 2984hm

Day 7: Rifugio Barricata –> Folgaria
A day characterized by gravel trails through some significant areas from the first world war such as Campo Gallina. A panoramic lunch stop and then a visit in the afternoon to Forte Belvedere and then over a road pass down to the hotel at Costa di Folgaria. Loads of kids here and slow reception – was ok but probably the most sterile of the trip and wouldn’t do any washing.
62km, 1800hm

Day 8: Folgaria –> Col del Xomo
A theoretically short day. Headed up the road a little and then along some trails to a chair lift. More trails and climbing up to Borcoletta. Really good but technical riding / hiking over a series of passes and then a wild descent down to Posina with tons of switchbacks. Lost the trail at the bottom and ended in an old lady’s garden. Her daughter? turned up and found it hilarious and the 8 of us carried the bikes through her back yard and down the steps to the road. A well earned pasta stop before an approx 1hr climb up to the hut. It was recently renovated and had good rooms, food and friendly service.
33km, 1642hm

Day 9: Col del Xomo –> Rovereto
Take a look at the Strada delle 52 tornanti which is banned for bikes. Then continue on gravel road which climbs up to Porte del Pasubio, Selletta Comando, Selletta del Groviglio before peaking at Sella del Roite (2081). Awesome rideable singletrails made more techy by the wet weather and thunderstorms. Really fun trail for almost the entire descent. Last part we hit a closed asphalt road, hike across a small landslide and finally hit the normal road to Rovereto. At Rovereto decide to finish the tour as we are all soaked and there would be no gelati, pizza, beer and swim in Torbole in this weather! 34km, 1324hm

Categories: Mountain Bike

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