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High mountain passes in the Swiss and Italian Alps — Tour des Combins

Sami Sauri

High mountain passes in the Swiss and Italian Alps — Tour des Combins

Mountain Biking Collection by Sami Sauri

2

Tours

15:20 h

69.6 mi

11,900 ft

One of the best-known hiking routes around the Italian and Swiss Alps, you can also ride the Tour des Combins on a mountain bike, so I took on the challenge in July with my friend Sonia.

I found the route through Bikepacking.com, and we decided to tackle it in two days rather than the three as recommended on the site. Of course it was harder, but we didn't carry much aside from food, water and clothing, as we stayed overnight in a hotel in Mauvoisin halfway through.

The start of the route is at the Grand San Bernard pass, where you can easily sleep in a van or overnight in one of the hotels and leave a vehicle there without a problem (parking on the right side is flat).

I'd recommend that you study the weather closely as this route is predominantly in the high mountains, and bad conditions can really stitch you up. It's only possible between July and September due to the snow. Make sure that you have equipment and clothing for all conditions, as the weather can change fast in the mountains.

The route is rated as a 7-8 difficulty rating according to Bikepacking.com, so make sure you are equipped for some serious hike-a-bike and are experienced rider before taking on the challenge. I'd say the route is best enjoyed counterclockwise as we rode it.

Check out the full route and plan your own version of the Tour des Combins here: komoot.es/tour/425363808

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • 09:21
    38.9 mi
    4.2 mph
    5,550 ft
    7,500 ft

    This first part of the Tour des Combins starts from the Grand San Bernard pass, flowing down a nice trail and into the alpine forest with a hike-a-bike only six kilometres in. This is pretty steep, but after that it was just flowing through some gravel paths and a beautiful trail along a river. Down here we found the first …

  • 05:59
    30.7 mi
    5.1 mph
    6,350 ft
    4,925 ft

    Our second day started with a hearty breakfast at the hotel in Mauvoisin before descending on the tarmac (for the first time) onto a tiny technical trail. This required some hike-a-biking due to the rocks but it was pretty easy and fast to get through.

    We got some proper elevation in afterwards on a mix of road and gravel climbs, …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    2
  • Distance
    69.6 mi
  • Duration
    15:20 h
  • Elevation
    11,900 ft

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High mountain passes in the Swiss and Italian Alps — Tour des Combins