We spent a couple of
days in Sankta Maria Val Müstair in the south eastern corner of
Switzerland. Val Müstair is almost third worldish. There is a
little agriculture, pastures, and tourism. The towns are ancient
and small. Even though one follows the main road one has to stop at
point because the streets are so narrow that only one car can pass. Val
Müstair bets heavily on hiking and mountain biking. The tourist
office in Müstair hands out good biking route descriptions.
One of the main attractions is Val Mora, a valley that drains into the
Lago di Livigno. Bikers frequently cross the border from either side.
Some years earlier when we were biking
in Livigno we had meant to cross into Val Mora but heavy weather
made us turn back before we reached Alpo Gallo.
We went twice into Val Mora. First we went straight up on a dirt road
from Sankta Maria, to the watershed that is known as Dösso Radond.
There was not any singletrack but it was still a splendid outing. The
next day we crossed the Ofenpaß (2149), on the main road, to
Buffalora (1973). We continued climbing first on dirt road to Jufplaun,
to a customs house, then on singletrack to the highest point, which is
some 2332 m. Beyond we had some splendid singletrack down to Val da las
Funtaunas. As one approaches Alp Mora one hits dirt road again, which
one follows over the Dösso Radond back to Sankta Maria. The last
bit back to the camping is yet another little bit of singletrack.
Camping in Sankta Maria VM
Dösso Radond, Val Mora
Getting ready to ride
Climbing on dirt road
High altitude singletrack
Val da las Funtaunas
Singletrack above Sankta Maria
Andermatt has lovely
high alpine singletrack. Arriving we visited the local bike shop, which
supplied us with an excellent map , Swiss
Singletrail Map — Uri, and gave us some good advice about the
local trails. The next morning we set off for the Maighels Pass,
climbing first on road to the crest of Oberalp Pass. On the other side
we picked a traversing trail to avoid losing altitude. After two
kilometres we joined a dirt road that we followed up to the Maighels
Hut, that is operated by the Swiss Alpine club. Then, we followed a
fine singletrack through the Maighels Valley, slowly gaining altitude.
Some five kilometres into the valley the trail left the valley floor
and climbed strenuously to the Maighel Pass. Then, it was all down
hill, first on beautiful winding singletrack, later on heavily armoured
trail, until we reached a small dirt road that rapidly brought us back
to Andermatt. The Maighels trail was no doubt one of the finest
rides we did that summer.
Brigg was our last
stop for mountain biking. We stayed at the camping by the ancient
Briggerbad, a famous spa with hot springs. Brigg is one of the best
places in Switzerland for biking. There are lots of fine trails, and it
rarely gets crowded, though most rides are strenuous as the altitude
differences tends to be immense. Most trails are well described in a
booklet calle Biking im
We bet on doing an old favourite from a previous visit,
the Gebidempass, a trail that can also be done from Zermatt.
We started early and biked on paved roads up to Stalden where we caught
the téléphérique up to
Gspon, at 1899 metres altitude, saving us 804 metres of climbing. Then,
we climbed on a fine trail up to Gebidempass slowly gaining altitude
all the while having staggering views of the Rhone Alps. Close to
the Gebidempass it is all pastures. Then one follows an ancient trail,
that is said to have been a Roman road in a distant past. Nowadays, it
is mostly singletrack, parts of it goes on exposed ledges, and there
are some really fine switchbacks. As one gets closer to Brigg it turnes
first into fast downhill dirt road later into a screaming fast narrow
We had a splendid outing.