It’s strange how things so close can seem so far away. How events can change
our perception and make a known landscape a point of obsession.
As mountain bikers we often imagine riding any terrain we see, drawing curves
and making virtual jumps in our minds. Imagining what lies behind crests, which
lines could be ridden and what type of dirt can be found.
Credit: @Ulysse Daessle
While watching this mountain from our window during the lockdown our
imagination was strong. We were eager to ride it. Wishing to be teleported by
some kind of magic.
This is not the story of getting there but being there.
When the lockdown ends, we checked some maps, took our bikes and gears, and headed up to see what’s what.
The summit culminates at 2800m above sea level. Behind it a valley climbs to reach a mountain lake surrounded by the peaks that form the natural border between Italy and Switzerland. It is a raw landscape. Brutal yet beautiful, rock faces dispute the space with waterfalls. Light fights against the dark—the weather changes quickly up there. Patches of snow were still hanging onto the northern faces. The soundtrack wasn’t bad either and we could hear rocks falling from the peaks.
The whole ambiance was stirring our imagination of impossible lines to ride. We
stick to the feasible—not everyone is Brett Tippie! But there were plenty of
options to have fun. The steep slick rocks were perfect for riding and the ridge
free of snow created a striking aesthetic. The trail connecting the valley to the
mountain refuge wasn’t bad either.
Loose and fast.
Rain jacket on and off, sunglasses or not, chin bar on and off. It’s better to be
prepared for all possibilities! That includes having some rest by the mountain
Back home, checking the pictures of the journey and watching once again the
mountain by the window, it seems to us different. It’s not an anonymous
landmark any more—it’s ours.
5 tips for mountain journeys:
- 1. Be prepared: check the map, look at the weather forecast, take some food, and enough clothing to be prepared for any eventualities. Ask the locals if
2. Take some spares: tubes, rear mech hanger, magnet in case of e-bike…
3. Have enough time: take extra time, don’t start late in the afternoon. Don’t be in a rush or in a tight schedule. Set feasible goals.
4. Don’t over do it: be realistic about your level. Don’t try anything you’re not confident with.
5. Have the right gear: don’t forget to be protected. Light and protective gear is the best. A convertible and ASTM certified helmet like the MET Parachute MCR is a must have, so you can climb without being hot and having enough protection to not be limited.