Road Cycling Highlight
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From Chris99 - The Nufenen Pass with its 2478 m is the highest inland Swiss Alps crossing and forms the border between the Valais and Ticino. From the east you can reach the pass over the Val Bedretto along the Ticino and get through numerous serpentines to Ulrichen. The pass is surrounded by the Piz Nero (2904 m) in the north and the Italian border in the south.
The Nufenen Pass is one of the youngest Alpine crossings ever, since it was built only 30 years ago. Due to its high average grade, its countless serpentines and its susceptibility to wind (in both directions) the Nufenen is one of the hardest. Since it does not attract anybody to this high mountain landscape anyway, and one can reach the southern climate of Ticino via Furka and Gotthard in the same way, it is quite justified to question the usefulness of the Nufenen. Who wants to give the full pack, is exactly right on this passport. Even more fun for the cyclist is a round over the Furka, Nufenen and the Val Tremola of the Gotthard Pass.
The western driveway of Ulrichen is varied and highly recommended, while the east approach from the direction Airolo from the road is rather boring (but still hard) and also has quite a lot to offer landscaped.
October 12, 2017
When driving through Ulrichen, the Nufenen offers two quite different sections: First, it goes with a moderate slope deep in the valley through the forest and relatively poor with beautiful views for about 300 meters up to a valley step, from which the route then pulls up and along the side of the valley opens up a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Overall, the route is less spectacular than that of the nearby Grimsel or Furka pass, but it is still worth the trip.
In the direction of Airolo, the descent is brisk, but the route to Airolo takes quite a bit after you have first reached the valley floor.
As is common in Switzerland, the road surface is good to very good, which of course makes driving on a racing bike more enjoyable.
February 2, 2020
The Nufenen from Ulrichen is certainly one of the most difficult Swiss alpine passes, not only because of the height, but also because of the fairly constant high gradient of 8-12% (except for a shorter, flatter section in the middle section) and the susceptibility to wind. Behind Ulrichen, after a kilometer in the forest, it gets down to business with up to 12%. Then, out of the forest, follows the ever long straight in the high valley to the final serpentine group. In this high valley there is often wind, as always from the front. It pulls! You can then mentally pull yourself up from curve to curve in the serpentines. Top up in a self-service restaurant.
For the descent you should also have a vest or jacket with you in midsummer. Even in July it can still snow up there and there can still be snow remnants on the roadside even in good weather. The upper part of the descent to Airolo is particularly fast. If there is little wind, you should take your heart in both hands and aim for the 100 km / h. Unfortunately, the first few kilometers of the descent are made of concrete slabs, which means that it bumps somewhat through the joints. The pass road is generally quite low-traffic. So if you are looking for a quiet alternative to the Furka Pass, you should drive the Nufenen Pass.
April 13, 2020
The highest road pass entirely in Switzerland. If you are there early morning or outside of week ends and summer holidays, you will love it. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with a lot of traffic
September 17, 2021
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