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Thread: Eastern Switzerland / Stelvio route feedback

  1. #1
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    Default Eastern Switzerland / Stelvio route feedback

    Looking for feedback on a do a two-day route in September:
    Day 1: St Moritz to Prato, up the Stelvio, down to Bormio and spend the night
    Day 2: Bormio to Livigno, over the Forcola, over the Bernina, back to St Moritz.

    For a reasonably fit cyclist who does at least 3000mi/yr, is this doable with the bare essentials in a seat pack? I've done the Alpenbrevet twice so am used to the long climbs.

    Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: Eastern Switzerland / Stelvio route feedback

    Depends on the weather, I'd say. Could be very cold on the passes by September.

    I've done your second day's route, only in the other direction. Very doable if weather is OK. You've got 4 climbs (2 before Livigno) and lots of kilometers of +2000m elevation.

    Have done the Prato side of the Stelvio, too. It's a beaut and a beast. Top of Stelvio is 9000 feet high. In September you could have anything as far as weather. Snow is easily possible. And you've got a very long (freezing cold?) downhill to get to Bormio. You will need a lot of layers, full finger gloves, and more. Not sure if you could get all that in a seatpack.
     

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    Default Re: Eastern Switzerland / Stelvio route feedback

    I did the Stelvio in September a few years ago, started in Bormio then down to Bolzano. What Thomas shared is what I experienced, snow, wet and freezing cold on top followed by 80's in the valley. We had a sag bus that carried our cold weather gear. Descending the direction I went with the tight switchbacks, cars, busses and frozen hands was interesting, descending into Bormio would be my preference if I do it again, more gradual and little traffic.

    DSC00133-1.jpg
     

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    Default Re: Eastern Switzerland / Stelvio route feedback

    Climbed Stelvio from the Bormio side and (and back down), then drove up and down to the other (Prato) side another day. The Bormio side is the nicer one in terms of the engineering of the switchbacks, so it is a better descent. In that sense, you're doing it in the right direction. The other side seems sketchy and off-camber in spots.

    It is long with a lot of elevation gain, so layering and pacing will be everything. Some good restaurants at the top. Great ride. We did Stelvio, Gavia and Mortirolo, and I enjoyed the Stelvio the most.

    I'm a reasonably fit cyclist but average about 3K-4K a year, so nothing remarkable. I was able to do all three. Hard but not impossible.

    When I went in May, there was still a lot of snow at the top. As to weather, it's a mountain, so who knows?
     

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    Default Re: Eastern Switzerland / Stelvio route feedback

    I think it is doable, but expect the unexpected weather wise and pack accordingly.

    My trip to Bormio in September a few years back was fun, albeit the planned riding didn't eventuate as I was recovering from an illness. I had planned to ride up the Stelvio from Bormio, turn left before the summit and head down the Umbrail Pass continue on down down the valley before heading back to Prato and up the Stelvio before the long drop to Bormio. The weather was fantastic the day of the planned ride and while I wasn't up for riding, we did manage to drive up to the top and head down to Umbrail Pass on the way back. Alas, the world's smallest whisky bar was shut! Fantastic part of the world.
     

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