MTB around Brigg

Brigg is the centre of German speaking Wallis. It is a small pleasant town situated at several important cross roads. The mountain biking in the area is splendid, though strenuous. Brigg is at a low altitude and most rides involve tremendous ascents. Often ascents involve climbs of 1500 metres or more. There is an excellent manual on-line, though in German language, Biken im Oberwallis. It contains no less than 86 route descriptions. Most of these would be possible to do, even for bikers who do not read German, with the aid of a good map. There are several camping places around Brigg. We stayed in one at Briggerbad. It is a spaa with traditions from ancient times.

Lötschental

Lötschental is a narrow high valley in the mountains between Bern and Visp. Due to its relative isolation it almost has a mystical reputation, as a place where the rural Swiss life style is completely unchanged. This is wildly exageregated. Nevertheless, it is a quite place not completely run over by tourists. From Brigg one follows the offical bike route that goes in a winding course along the floor of the Rhone Valley to Gampen, then one follows the main road for a few hunred meters in ascent before on takes off from it following the old road up to Gopenstein. Beyond Gopenstein one goes through a couple of tunnels and reaches Ferden. From here are several routes.

 

There is an official MTB-trail, which it probably is a good idea to take. It goes up to Lauchernalp and continues east traversing the slopes of Lötschental. We chose a different way. Headed back out of Ferden and then ascended to Kummenalp, from where we followed a tight single track all the way to Fafleralp. It proved to be extremely technical, in fact we had to carry the bikes some sections, and when the path got more bikeable towards Fafleralp we had two pinch flats. Needless to say, the return down the car road was very fast and fun. 


Lötschental
 
  
Märjela See

Above the Rhone valley is a high plateau or ledge with a number of small resorts, Riederalp, Bettmeralp, Kuhboden. There is excellent single track in the area. Several narrow mountain roads go up to the ledge from the Rhone valley. All of them involve an ascent greater than 1000 metres. Taking a lift up may be an interesting option. Once up on an altitude of 2000 m it is relatively smooth going, as we did, from Rideralp to Märjela See. Part of it is mildly technical single track. The last kilometre to the lake goes through a poorly lit tunnel. At Märjela See one is next to Aletchgletscher, the largest glacier in the Alps. Route finding is simple with the relevant sheets of the Landeskarte der Schweiz. The Märejlasee route is here on the Biken im Oberwallis. There are also a number of descriptions of other routes in the vicinity.

 
Brigg from above
Riederalp
Märjelasee
 
Saflischtal

East of Brigg there is a valley known as Bintal. It is only accessible by car via one road that goes through a three kilometre long tunnel. There is some splendid biking to do. To reach Bintal via road one goes up along the main road for Furka, not much fun when there is a lot of traffic, and there always is during the summer months. One leaves the main road at Laax and heads south to Bintal, when one reaches the tunnel one can go on the old road along the gorge instead. Beautiful.

On the other side one heads for Heiligkreux. Then, one heads up a steep fire road gaining a lot of altitude to Saflishtal and on up to the Furgge pass (2451). The way back to Brigg was pure descent. In the Biken im Oberwallis parts of this route is described as Saflischpass and as Furgii — Saflischpass. We did regrettably not have it along. If had we would had more singletrack. As it were we rode only on road and fire road. 


Furgge 2451