Mountainbiking in Switzerland


Sankta Maria Val Müstair

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



Pastoral


Getting ready to ride
Offenpass

Ofenpaß 2149





Climbing on dirt road




Steep section



Jufplaun









High altitude singletrack


Val da las Funtaunas





Pure fun


Singletrack above Sankta Maria


Andermatt

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.

Andermatt Camping

Andermatt Camping

Oberalppass

Oberalp Pass, 2044 m





A fine traverse


Oberalp Pass is in the background



Techincal bit






Approaching the Maighels hut


Singletrack in the Maighels Valley



Slowly gaining altitude


Close to the crest of Maighels Pass



A small pond almost on the  crest



The watershed, 2421 m



Rolling down on a splendid trail



Heavily armoured downhill section

Brigg

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 Oberwallis.

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 paved road.

We had a splendid outing.

Briggerbad Camping

Briggerbad camping


The lift


Cheking out the map


Enjoying double espressos in Gspon



Strenuous climbing



Weisshorn in the background



On high pastures





Bischhorn in the background


Water trough


Ruminating cows



Gebidempass, 2203 m



Finally downwards



Ancient Roman road






Switchbacks



Elisabeth coming out of a switchback









Traversing


Going under a brook


Riding on a ledge


Briggerbad from above







Packing up to leave Brigg