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Road to Lisbon – bikepacking the Alps, Pyrenees and Picos de Europa

Peter Baumeister

Road to Lisbon – bikepacking the Alps, Pyrenees and Picos de Europa

Mountain Biking Collection by Peter Baumeister

47

Tours

288:36 h

2,385 mi

186,400 ft



In 2021 I made the decision to dedicate my life to what I love the most: go out and explore nature. Out of this reason I left home with the simple goal to experience the biggest possible adventure and discover the remotest and most beautiful landscapes of western Europe.

Why Lisbon?
A pretty random goal. While screening the map of Europe looking for a potential destination, I realised that between Lisbon and my home in south Germany, there is a chance to spend a lot of time in really high mountains. I pictured to follow the entire Alps, then jump into the Pyrenees from East to West, follow the Cantabrian Mountains in north spain and cross them at the Picos de Europa. From there I would already be more or less close to Lisbon, while not having to overcome a lot of flat sections, which looked pretty cool to me. With this vision in head and no further route planning I set off at the third of October. “How on earth do you want to cross the Alps and the Pyrenees this late in the season?” many people asked. I didn’t know, but I wasn't looking for a simple thing to do. I wanted to face a serious challenge and was prepared to face cold and wet autumn conditions in the solitude of the mountains. In the end it turned out, that my braveness (or stupidness :D ) to leave in October should get rewarded with good weather for the majority of the journey. I planned my route day by day, so that I could always adopt the local weather conditions and go as high up as possible. That would allow me to even tackle the 3000 m line and spend more than 15 days above 2000 m.

My setup:
To have the maximum freedom and be completely self-supported I needed gear and cloth to survive extreme cold nights and also spare parts and fixing tools to get back on the road if anything breaks. At the same time I wanted to be lightweight and minimalistic to still be able to enjoy proper mountainbiking. Therefore, I choose my minimalistic bikepacking setup to not be limited to proper roads when crossing mountains. My bike is a solid, but nothing special about it, hardtail mountainbike and proved once more to be a perfect companion.

Movie documentary:
Since I was going alone, I knew I would have a lot of time for myself and decided to use this time to work on my filmmaking skills. I love the idea, that I can let others experience my adventures through my movies and share the amazing landscapes that I pass through. Therefore, I made quite some effort to edit the best movies I could while still being on tour. In total I documented the entire journey in 6 Episodes of 15 minutes each, guiding you through the main mountain sections. I believe the movies are full of inspiration for YOUR next biketravels and a solid entertainment for the cold days on the couch 😉.

What you need, to do the entire tour (or parts of it) yourself:
I don’t see myself as a professional athlete, so theoretically everybody can do my tours. But I guess to follow my route and be able to enjoy it you should have:
- a serious level of fitness,
- a strong will to overcome quite some heavy hike a bike sections,
- some alpine mountain experience,
- basic downhill mountainbike skills,
- and very little standards of where to sleep.

And you should be ok with being in very isolated and remote areas, where you sometimes don’t see other humans for days (at least in this time of the year). If this all sounds as appealing to you as it does for me, you will have a hell of a time 😉

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Day 1 – Road to Lisbon

    07:58
    46.8 mi
    5.9 mph
    5,525 ft
    1,625 ft

    Starting from my homedoor was a weird feeling. Following my well known home trails in the beginning didn't feel like I was going on a big trip. Since I mainly wanted to spend time in the mountains, I started with that right from day one on. I passed the Walchensee and headed into the Karwendel, one of

    by Peter Baumeister

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  • 07:26
    54.7 mi
    7.3 mph
    3,900 ft
    7,375 ft

    In the morning of day two I climbed my first peak of the trip: the 2408m high Erlspitze. After a technical downhill trail I reached the Inn river and followed it westways until I found a farmer house close to Landeck, where I could get a cheap room for the night.

    by Peter Baumeister

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  • 05:49
    51.1 mi
    8.8 mph
    3,550 ft
    2,550 ft

    On day three I already got the first glimps of what it can be like to cross the Alps in October. Clouds hanging deep and rain. But a lot worse: first snow of the year was predicted in higher altitude. To avoid getting stuck in the snow already on day three I had to change my idea to go over the Schluppiner

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 08:32
    43.8 mi
    5.1 mph
    7,025 ft
    6,750 ft

    On day 4 it snowed down to 1200m, so I took a forced break for the first time. My options to go into the wild mountains were pretty limited these days. In order to still go high up, I chose to ride over the famous 2750m high Stilfserjoch. With temperatures around minus 10 degree on top that was a good

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 06:23
    74.5 mi
    11.7 mph
    825 ft
    3,950 ft

    After the Stilfserjoch I decided to make some distance for the first time and rode 120km to the beautiful lake Como. For many transalps this is the final goal, for me only a very little milestone on a long journey.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 04:04
    19.4 mi
    4.8 mph
    6,050 ft
    175 ft

    Half a day relaxing at the lake and then I headed into the mountains again. From the lake I could already tell, that I would have to fight through thick fog, but since I was sleeping on a mountainpass, I was hoping to eventually be able to enjoy a nice sunrise the next morning.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 07:40
    62.9 mi
    8.2 mph
    4,625 ft
    9,700 ft

    My plan paid off: I climbed a 2300m high peak for sunrise and was rewarded with a stunning scenery above the clouds. After sunrise I found great single trails down on the other side, bringing me to the next classic: Lago Maggiore. Short Pizza break for 18Euros (Switzerland prices are horrible :D ) and

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 09:06
    66.1 mi
    7.3 mph
    6,250 ft
    5,900 ft

    Via the Simplonpass I reach the swizz Valais, a mountain area that I wanted to visit since a very long time full of 4000m high peaks. To make the most out of this area I have my friend Benni joining me for the next three days to go as high up as possible.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 03:44
    28.7 mi
    7.7 mph
    7,325 ft
    475 ft

    Together with my friend Benni we leave the beaten tracks and choose a remote route high up through the valais. We want to follow parts of the mountainbike race "Grand Raid" and camp out above 2600m in minus 10 dagree cold nights.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 09:55
    26.4 mi
    2.7 mph
    6,050 ft
    7,475 ft

    On day 11 we woke up in the middle of mountain paradise. Over night we got a nice 5cm layer of fresh snow, which made the landscape even more beautiful. Beeing the only humans out there is always a special feeling, which I can't get enough of. This day we made it over a 2800m pass and climbed a 3100m

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 11:19
    82.1 mi
    7.2 mph
    7,350 ft
    13,150 ft

    

    

    

    Benni and I follow the Grand Raid for another half day before we leave the Valais and cycle to lake Geneva and finish in Lausanne (Benni's home). Absolutely spectacular 3 days in the Valais - can't wait to come back here.

    Episode one documents the first 12 days and shows a

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 05:21
    47.7 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,750 ft

    I spend 5 days in Lausanne with my friend Benni and published the first Episode from here. On day 18 it was time to move on, following the lake Geneva. My goal for the next days was to add some more days in the french Alps before heading towards the Mediterranean Sea.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 02:13
    27.6 mi
    12.4 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,375 ft

    Riding towards Annecy, where I wanted to head into the mountains again for three days.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 03:56
    24.9 mi
    6.3 mph
    4,400 ft
    525 ft

    Screening the map, I found a promising remote valley, that I wanted to cross. Since I couldn't find any information about wether it's possible by bike, I just left and gave it a shot. On day 20 I went up to sleep under the stars again and to bring myself in position to try the pass the next day.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 11:02
    54.3 mi
    4.9 mph
    7,025 ft
    7,050 ft

    A beautiful day in solitude of the mountains. Waking up in the middle of nature is always special. Nights are really cold, but the amazing fall colors make it worth. And luckily no fall weather, but lots of sunshine during the days. I climbed the pass in a tough hike a bike section to have breakfast

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 05:01
    45.7 mi
    9.1 mph
    2,125 ft
    7,025 ft

    On day 22 I woke up on a 15km long ridge, which turned out to be an absolute dream for mountainbiking. Perfect weather with 18 degrees made it just another incredible day. In the afternoon I rolled down the mountains, passed Grenoble and finally finished the chapter of the Alps. From now on, I wanted

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 07:54
    86.4 mi
    10.9 mph
    3,000 ft
    3,375 ft

    It was still 350km to the sea, but since there were no more mountains along the river Rhone, I wanted to get it down quickly and decided to pull it off in two long days. End of October and I still had 25 degrees - amazing.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 08:30
    109 mi
    12.8 mph
    2,925 ft
    3,225 ft

    

    

    

    Always a fantastic feeling to reach a big milestone. With 176km this day was my longest one on this journey. But with the plan of a few days recovery at a friends place in Montpellier, it was worth the effort.

    Episode two covers the entire french alps and gives insights about

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 06:41
    98.3 mi
    14.7 mph
    2,775 ft
    2,800 ft

    I stayed four days in Montpellier, finished editing Episode two and then brought myself in position for my personal highlight part: Crossing the entire Pyrenees.

    by Peter Baumeister

  • 03:21
    40.9 mi
    12.3 mph
    2,075 ft
    900 ft

    At the first of november I finally arrived at the bottom of the Pyrenees. Everything was set to emerse myself in some of the wildest mountains of Europe. It's a long way up from sealevel into serious mountains. By the time, I still didn't have a route to follow and wanted to plan it day by day. First step: pass through Andorra.

    by Peter Baumeister

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    47
  • Distance
    2,385 mi
  • Duration
    288:36 h
  • Elevation
    186,400 ft

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Road to Lisbon – bikepacking the Alps, Pyrenees and Picos de Europa

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