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A transalp with a difference – cycling from Kappl to Sölden

Ben

A transalp with a difference – cycling from Kappl to Sölden

Mountain Biking Collection by Ben

5-11

days

3-6 h

/ day

212 mi

40,500 ft

42,150 ft

A transalp is the dream of many mountain bikers. Usually, the crossing is from north to south, with Lake Garda as the destination. Such a Tour is great, but it also requires some logistical planning, especially for the return journey. Last summer, I decided, at short notice, to tour the Alps with friends. We wanted to start and finish in North Tyrol, which saved us a long day of travelling. The entire adventure ran along the many great trails of the main Alpine chain.

The result was this Tour and its seven stages. Starting in Kappl in the Paznaun valley, the route leads in a semicircle back north to the Ötz valley. You pass through three countries – Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Many beautiful valleys and some of the highest passes in the Eastern Alps lie on the way. For even more downhill fun, we used cable cars four times. This reduced the amount of elevation gain we had to conquer ourselves to almost exactly 8,000 metres (26,250 ft).

The Tour combines many well-known highlights, like the trail from the Fimbapass to the Madritschjoch and the Tibet trails. This is the great challenge of the adventure – it’s not so much the uphill altitude metres that take so much energy, but the downhill. The bottom line: this Transalp is for experienced riders with good endurance and technique. Keep an eye on the weather and find out the snow conditions for the high crossings before you set off.

We booked most of our accommodation in advance. In the larger towns, this was easy. However, book the Rifugio Fraele and the Zufallhütte early to be on the safe side. There are no alternatives there. As the start and end points are well connected to the rail network, this adventure is easy to reach with public transport. Some of our group travelled by train to Kappl and returned directly from Ötztal station. In the summer months, bike spaces are often booked up quickly. Here too, you should book in advance.

We all agreed that the tour was a great transalp. We travelled through three countries, heard many different dialects and crossed the main chain of the Alps, twice. We didn’t have the feeling of missing out for not having ventured further south. Of course, arriving at Lake Garda is also an experience – we’ll leave that for our next trip!

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Gesamttrack von Kappl nach Sölden – Transalp mal anders

208 mi

40,075 ft

41,700 ft

Last updated: March 21, 2022

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Kappl to Scuol – Transalp with a difference

    Difficult
    05:25
    33.7 mi
    6.2 mph
    8,350 ft
    8,075 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    It doesn't matter whether you start in Landeck, or maybe you've already arrived the evening before and set up your accommodation in Kappl or Ischgl, at the beginning it goes through the valley floor of the Paznauntal to the valley station of the Silvrettabahn in Ischgl. With the gondola and chairlift

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  • Difficult
    06:42
    37.5 mi
    5.6 mph
    6,225 ft
    4,000 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The second day of the tour takes you through the impressive mountain landscape of the first high-alpine UNESCO biosphere reserve, which is formed by the Swiss National Park and the Biosfera Val Müstair. The approximately 60-kilometer route takes you from the Engadin to Val Müstair and then on to Italy

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  • Difficult
    04:22
    21.7 mi
    5.0 mph
    4,125 ft
    6,550 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today's approximately 35-kilometer stage fits seamlessly into the previous two in terms of alpine beauty and trail fun. The 1,250 meters of ascent are manageable, but there are more than 2,000 meters of descent down the mountain and on some very demanding, high-alpine single trails.

    

    After starting in

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  • Difficult
    03:05
    13.9 mi
    4.5 mph
    6,350 ft
    2,975 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The fourth day of the tour around the main Alpine ridge is somewhat shorter in terms of route length. The reason for this is that today you are on the roof of the tour and both the Madritschjoch and the random hut proposed as an overnight stay are worth not just rushing through. Take some time here to

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  • Difficult
    04:57
    35.7 mi
    7.2 mph
    3,850 ft
    9,475 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today is again very downhill due to the high start at the Unfallhütte. More than 2,000 meters downhill, mostly on trails. The highlight of the tour is the ascent and descent from the Schartlkamm, which runs along the legendary Holy Hansen Trail in the lower part.

    

    After starting at the random hut, a challenging

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  • Difficult
    06:18
    30.5 mi
    4.8 mph
    10,950 ft
    6,525 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today is a "big day out" ahead of you. With the help of two cable cars, you can climb a total of 2,700 meters uphill and almost 2,000 meters downhill. On a tour in the high mountains, and on a demanding trail at that, safety is of course the priority. If the weather forecast is such that you have to

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  • Intermediate
    03:32
    38.9 mi
    11.0 mph
    650 ft
    4,600 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The last stage is mainly used to get back to the Inn Valley, from where you can then take the train back to your car or go straight home. You move mostly in the valley floor, which is why the impressions cannot quite keep up with those of the previous days. The stage is definitely suitable for cycling

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    212 mi
  • Duration
    34:22 h
  • Elevation
    40,500 ft42,150 ft

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A transalp with a difference – cycling from Kappl to Sölden

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