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The ride of your life - Crossing the Alps from the Zillertal to Lake Garda

Simon Steinberger | Pixabay

The ride of your life - Crossing the Alps from the Zillertal to Lake Garda

Mountain Biking Collection by komoot

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

229 mi

42,550 ft

44,400 ft

Once you arrive at the top, your heart races, your breathing spikes, and your chin hangs low as you suck in as much air as you can. You made it to the top of the world — there's nowhere higher for you now. As you gaze around, you take in the truly breathtaking view you worked hard to earn. The 6,500-feet-high (2,000 meters) mountain on which you stand is surrounded by mountain peaks that are at least as high and just as beautiful. You are right in the middle of the wonderful Alps, a rough, tough and fascinating mountain world.

Before you head here, just bear one thing in mind: The Alps have become a synonym for serious cycling for a reason. You won't cross them over a long weekend. Instead, some preparation is in order: The mountain world is beautiful but also really rough — over long distances you are far away from civilization and on your own. If you experience a mechanical error, you have to repair it yourself. If you hurt yourself, you need to know what to do. If you're physically finished for the day, you need a plan B.

An Alpine cross is always an adventure and a challenge — and no two rides are ever the same. You can expect passages that you can classify as rather "easy" and sometimes lead for a while along small mountain roads or wide gravel roads. But also expect narrow, exposed hiking trails, on which you have to push or carry your bike — which is simply part of it here. Especially the real mountain stages of this Alpine crossing, such as the Pfunderer Joch, Astjoch and Würzjoch, are really tough, while the start and finish stages are much easier to do.

But if you appropriately prepare, you will experience something special: The bikepacking experience of a lifetime.
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Tips for a successful Alpine cross adventure

Bike
Check your bike thoroughly before departure. Something that's especially important and oft-forgotten are the brake pads. If they are already worn out, replace them in advance and take a replacement with you. Check the tires, too, including all screws (for example brake discs but also the spoke tension) and simply make sure that your bike starts the Tour mechanically flawlessly. Regarding the type of bike you should take, this is less important. Take a hardtail or full-suspension to keep comfortable throughout the ride — whichever you feel most confident on.

Clothing
As every gram counts, only take as much with you as you need. We recommend the following items of clothing: Functional underwear, a normal summer outfit, a lightweight, wind-proof jacket, a functional rain jacket, long winter gloves, a cap or a buff, and changeable clothes for after the rides (warm fleece clothing if you are staying up in a hut).

Food
Here we have good news for you: As you go, you'll pass numerous huts serving delicious Alpine fare. Just make sure you pack some energy bars for emergencies and be sure to carry enough water.

Luggage
Less is more! After a short time you will hate a backpack that is too heavy or a full-bodied bikepacking bag. But it won't work without it. High-quality (and light) functional clothing saves a lot of weight. Also, instead of taking your SLR camera, maybe your smartphone will suffice.J Just remember: The lighter your luggage, the more pleasant the ride will be.

Return journey
From Riva del Garda there is a bus service to Rovereto. From here you can get back to Mayrhofen in just over four hours. The trip includes an EC-connection, don’t forget to register your bike in advance.

Other tips
Very important: Don't overdo it! Especially at the beginning of your ride and in the thin air of the 2000s you should slow down a bit. You also want to give your bike some air: Don't push it too hard here and cause a mechanical fault somewhere. Also, pushing is not something to be ashamed of here. If you think you can't pedal anymore — don't! Due to changing weather conditions in the mountains, the best time to go is between July and September. As ever, check in advance.

As mentioned at the beginning, crossing the Alps is a real adventure that requires a little preparation. But with our tips, maps and GPS routes, you'll be well prepared. Have fun on your unforgettable Alpine adventure!

On The Map

The Alpine Cross Tours

  • Difficult
    05:12
    26.6 mi
    5.1 mph
    5,675 ft
    3,025 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 first leg of our crossing of the Alps starts directly with a long climb up the Pfitscher Joch. So strengthen yourself again with a hearty breakfast, before you leave …

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  • Difficult
    05:03
    29.4 mi
    5.8 mph
    4,350 ft
    6,400 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.

    Stage two of our Alpine crossing starts in the cozy village of St. Jakob and leads you first across the road, later on a single trail slightly downhill along the Pfitscher Bach. So you can enter for the first few kilometers, before the Alps call for the next challenge.This listens to the name Pfunderer Joch and lures to over 2,500 meters altitude with magnificent views and thin air. If you get warmed up on the climb, you can probably cool yourself up in the snow at the top. Until then, you are busy with the approximately eight-kilometer trail, which is sometimes really steep. He has parts to offer with 20 percent increase and more - there is no shame in pushing a piece. On the contrary: Then you finally have time to marvel at the beautiful mountains in peace.

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  • Difficult
    04:50
    17.9 mi
    3.7 mph
    6,075 ft
    2,200 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.

    From the Puster Valley the route takes you today in the Dolomites. It goes from Ehrenburg directly to the point: The first eleven kilometers lead you partly steeply uphill to Astjoch at 2,200 meters altitude. You drive mainly on beautiful singletrack with a wonderful mountain panorama. It's about 1,300 meters to overcome - so take it easy and if it gets too steep, just push. Many have already done that!Just before the summit you reach the Walder Alm, which is perfect for a short break. Here you will find delicious food and drinks, so that you have enough power for the last few meters that lead you to the Astjoch, where you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views. The thickest chunks you have done: The rest of this stage runs without long ascents or descents at an altitude of around 2,000 meters.

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  • Difficult
    06:47
    30.9 mi
    4.6 mph
    9,025 ft
    8,000 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.

    As idyllic as the day begins on the top of the Würzjoch, it will also end. We can tell in advance, because today's stage will lead you to a refuge …

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  • Difficult
    07:34
    39.4 mi
    5.2 mph
    7,625 ft
    9,550 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 our route leaves South Tyrol and takes you to Trentin - we are slowly but surely approaching our destination, Lake Garda. But until then there is still a lot …

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  • Difficult
    05:34
    40.0 mi
    7.2 mph
    4,400 ft
    8,475 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Instead of high-altitude seclusion, today's stage is marked by many cultural highlights and some beautiful cities with Italian flair. Today is not quite as much climbed, but the tour is …

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  • Difficult
    06:02
    45.1 mi
    7.5 mph
    5,425 ft
    6,750 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 last leg of a big tour is always something special. It's a strange mix of emotions. On the one hand, you're proud that you made it. And you're scared, …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    229 mi
  • Duration
    41:02 h
  • Elevation
    42,550 ft44,400 ft

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The ride of your life - Crossing the Alps from the Zillertal to Lake Garda