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3 thru 13 June 2017 - Epic Rides with no Eagle: 10 days in the Dolomite Alps

Note: This issue is in English (courtesy to our Canadian and Belgian readers, if any).

For your entertainment and for future reference: A log book of a 10 days trip to Südtirol, including details of the epic ones amongst our many rides.* For the first week, Sandra, Markus & I went to 'Alta Badia' (which is a trade name of a cluster of villages in Gadertal), after that we moved to Altprags in Pragser Tal. (Both Gadertal and Pragser Tal are accessible from Pustertal. The nearest city is Bruneck.)

*) For a very reasonable explanation of what makes a bike ride an epic bke ride, please see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp53RZcK8Es


Epic ID: #1
Epic title: Fanesrunde

Epic guide: Andreas of www.dolomitebiking.com
Epic participants: Sandra & Markus, Michaela & Brad (apologies for any potential misspelling), Sylvie & Paul, Da Reverend
Epic route: Badia - Wengen - Rit See - Pederü - Limojoch - Col de Locia - Badia
Epic moments: That massive attack I started on sentiero '11'. And, of course, carrying the bike down from Col de Locia was truly epic.
Epic pictures:
  • View from Pederü (into the direction of travel).
  • Our group in the steep section of the gravel road towards Fanes.
  • Michaela, Sandra and Frauenversteher Andreas (I guess there is no English word for that).
  • Sylvie arriving on top of Limojoch.


Epic ID: #2
Epic title: Cinque Torri

Epic guides: Andreas & Richard of www.dolomitebiking.com
Epic participants: Sandra & Markus, Michaela & Brad, Sylvie & Paul, Da Reverend
Epic route: Valparola Passhöhe - Rifugio Averau - Falzarego Passhöhe - Badia
Epic moments: When I arrived at Rifugio Cinque Torri, located half the way up to Rifugio Averau, and spotted the 'chiuso' sign (though I wanted that cappuccio so badly).
Epic pictures:
  • Brad descending from Rifugio Averau.


Epic ID: #3
Epic title: Dürrensteinhütte

Epic guide: That very basic free map Sandra grabbed for me at the coffee stop
Epic participants: Sandra & Markus; after the coffee break just me
Epic route: Außerprags - Grünwaldalm - Niederdorf (afternoon coffee break) - Schluderbach - Dürrensteinhütte - Außerprags
Epic moments: When I was expecting a smooth gravel road up to Dürrensteinhütte and then there was only this steep sentiero (which luckily turned out to be just a shortcut so actually there is a smooth gravel road).
Epic pictures:
  • 3 seat posts, one of them not to be dropped at any time.
  • View on Seekofel from Pragser Wildsee (what you don't see on the picture is the huge car parks, the crowds of wannabe hikers, the massive hotel complex and the smell of french fries all over the place).
  • However, the color of the Wildsee is amazing (some might even call it awesome).
  • Supposedly a view on the famous Tre Cime - to me, just some more beautiful Dolomite mountains.
  • Finally, rolling down from Brückele to Außerprags on sentiero '37' (including illegal use of the Quellenweg).


Epic ID: #4
Epic title: Stoneman - Demuthpassage

Epic guide: Sandra
Epic deputy guide: Markus
Epic participants: Myself.
Epic route: Außerprags - Innichen - Helm (Monte Elmo) - Sillianer Hütte - Demuthpassage - Nemes Alm - Sexten-Moos - Außerprags
Epic moments: The tricky section of Demuthpassage - climbing some rocks with a steel rope in one hand and the bike in the other.
Epic pictures:
  • Trail towards Sillianer Hütte.
  • Looking back to the tricky section of the Demuthpassage.
  • Truly, King Of the Mountain (shut up, beardy Strava boy).


Epic ID: #5
Epic title: Stoneman - Marchkinkele

Epic guide: Sandra & Markus
Epic participants: I.
Epic route: Außerprags - Doblach - Silvestertal - Marchkinkele - Hochrast - Winnebach - Außerprags
Epic moments: When we learnt that in Innichen, they don't serve any food in the afternoon.
Epic pictures:
  • Pinky pinky (für Anke)
  • Approaching Silversteralm.
  • [4x] Gravel road to Marchkinkele (originally built for military purposes)
  • [2x] Nice trail down to Pustertal.


Epic ID: #6
Epic title: '159' - Pustekuchen

Epic guide: Noone (which actually was the key issue).
Epic participants: Me.
Epic route: Außerprags - Innichen - Nemes Alm - sentiero '159' - Nemes Alm - Kreuzbergpass - Sexten - Außerprags
Epic moments: When I realized that sentiero '159' would probably not get me anywhere. Having lunch at 4pm, after the hordes of elderly hikers had already left Nemes Alm. ("Wo kommt das Kalbsgulasch her?" - "Des war eins von unseren.")
Epic pictures:
  • The place where I took the wrong decision.


Epic ID: #7
Epic title: Rossalm (hiking)

Epic guide: Mr. Tobacco.
Epic participants: Myself.
Epic route: Pragser Wildsee - Seekofel (Ofenscharte) - Rossalm - Brückele - Schmieden - Pragser Wildsee
Epic moments: When I realized I probably would not like to climb down where I just climbed up.
Epic pictures:
  • Backwards view on Pragser Wildsee.
  • Mountain loneliness.
  • Just another 'Rotwand'.
  • Rossalm, where the steep descend to Brückele starts.

--------------------

Recommended locations in Alta Badia:
For hand-made energy bars: Konditorei Café Bar Ricky, Pedraces, 39036 Abtei
For very friendly bike repair services: HOMY sportswear, Pedraces, 39036 Abtei
For excellent accommodation including perfect cycling-specific services (laundry, bike storage, guided tours, e.g.): Hotel Melodia del Bosco, Pedraces, 39036 Abtei


Lessons learnt:
It is not true that all males from Canada wear checkered lumberjack-style shirts. Actually, the Canadian females do.
On the Pustertal bike lane, you have to go min. 25.1 kph at all times.
Basically everything would have been way easier if only we had the 'Eagle'. (With the exception of the min. 25.1 kph thing maybe.)


Posted by Reverend on 16.06.2017 - 09:19
D&D - Dies & Das

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