An exciting stage tour; a three-day ride along natural high mountain trails in a unique alpine environment! Don't be deceived by the seemingly low mileage per day, the route is technical and time consuming!
We start the first day in Bormio, taking a gondola run to Bormio 2000 and from there the cable car to Bormio 3000 - Cima Bianca.
We descent on the opposite side along a fantastic trail, initially very rocky (watch out for snakebites!), then passing through the unique scenery with the intense blue colour of the "Bei Laghetti". From here we continue our descent along Val Sobretta that leads to Valfurva, with some stretches of flow in contrast to other particularly technical passages.
At a certain point, a climb of about twenty minutes takes us back up in altitude only to then return downhill to Santa Caterina Valvurva, following a trail full of stones, roots and counterslopes: you're gonna have an amazing ride!
A quick lunch and we're ready to take the gondola to Sunny Valley, 1000 m higher. A little further up, the descent begins, first on rough loose ground with narrow switchbacks, then decisively more fast and flowy leading to the Passo dell’Alpe and then, after a particularly technical stretch, on the road which from Santa Caterina rises to the Gavia Pass.
You can now lower your knee pads as the descent is over for the day though you still have 6 km of tarmac to ride to the Gavia Pass, where you will spend the night.
A good breakfast and we're ready for another great day!
We start by riding a short section on the main road towards Santa Caterina and then we take a trail which offers us breathtaking views but where extra careful attention must be paid on some exposed sections. A very long descent, with the final part through undergrowth, will assert our technical capabilities as guides!
On arrival in Santa Caterina, a shuttle will be waiting to take us to “Rifugio Branca”, for the second part of our tour, the “Tibetan Bridges”.
The climb with the shuttle/jeep is, in itself, a thrilling experience given the steepness of the road (don’t look down!!!). After having lunch at the “Branca” cabin , we set off towards the “Forni” Glacier, with some compulsory bike carrying. The experience of being able to reach the base of the glacier by bike, is not an every day achievement!
Unfortunately you will realise just how our our glaciers are retreating, seeing at first hand great portions of detached ice.
We will “dance” across the two Tibetan Bridges to take us to the other side where we will revel in the last fantastic descent of the day. The first part presents some sections on morainic rock while the second part is much more flowy, bringing us to Rifugio Forni.
Here we face the last climb of the day, almost 5 km on a dirt road to reach Rifugio Pizzini, where we will spend the night.
If you don't mind getting up early in the morning, then here it is well worth doing so! Taking advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the spectacular sunrise at Rifugio Pizzini, with the majestic Gran Zebrù behind you and all the other peaks in the background, is a unique experience!
We set off in the direction of Passo Zebrù, at an altitude of 3000m, the highest point of these three days.
To reach the pass, for the most part we will be pushing our bikes, alternating with a few short sections of pedalling, for a total of about an hour. The right way to start this day!
The descent on the opposite side, along Val Zebrù, will be particularly technical at the beginning: often the first part of the descent has a snowfield (if your riding skills on snow are not the best, you can have fun sitting down and "sledding" by dragging your bike!), followed by a part equipped with chains and fixed ropes, obviously to be done on foot.
As you descend the valley, the descent becomes easier, though always on a natural technical path where care must be taken given the exposed sections.
On reaching the dirt road, we follow it for a few kilometres until we reach a mountain hut where we can enjoy lunch.
The final part of the day will see a few more climbs alternating with short descents until the very last part, which will take us to the centre of Bormio, where we will wind up our Alpine Epic Tour with a well-deserved beer!