mountainbiker rad person pfossental
mountainbiker rad person pfossental

MTB tour via the Passo Gelato to the Rif. Francesco Petrarca

A challenging extreme tour leads from Naturno through the Val di Fosse valley to the Passo Gelato at almost 3,000 m a.s.l.

A challenging, but extremely scenic MTB tour leads us to the Passo Gelato (Eisjöchl), the 3,000 m high transition between the Val Senales and the Val Passiria valleys. We start our tour on an early morning in midsummer at the parking space in Naturno. From there, we cycle along the main road and turn into the Val Senales valley, the place where Ötzi was found and a quaint South Tyrolean valley with many hiking destinations. After a 9 km ride along the main road of the Val Senales valley, a side valley branches off to the right, the Val di Fosse, formed by ice and water over thousands of years.

Now the ascent starts, which takes us and our mountain bikes to the Casera di Fuori (Vorderkaser). The hamlet at 1.693 m a.s.l. is a small collection of houses: Up to here the road is asphalted. Now we continue our MTB tour on the hiking trail, always along the stream. The forest path leads us steadily upwards, we pedal until we reach the Malga Rableid at more than 2,000 m a.s.l. in the Tessa Group Nature Park. The popular mountain hut can also be reached on foot on the Alta Via di Merano (Merano High Path). We continue to the Malga Eishof mountain hut via a short, steeper section and then our MTB tour becomes considerably steeper and more demanding. A new slab-lined path (no. 24 and 46) takes us further and further uphill until we reach the Passo Gelato at about 3,000 m a.s.l., the highest point of our tour.

At the Rif. Francesco Petrarca mountain hut (Stettiner Hütte) which was destroyed by an avalanche a few years ago but has been rebuilt in the meantime, we stop and enjoy the South Tyrolean mountains. Afterwards we cycle downhill to the Malga Lazins. The mountain hut is located at 1,882 m a.s.l. in the Val di Plan, a side valley of the Val Passiria, at the foot of the Cima Altissima (Hohe Wilde). After a refreshment - from the constant braking downhill particularly our arms need a break - we follow the path out of the valley: from Plan until San Leonardo in Passiria we follow the road, then the cycle path leads us to Merano (gravelled) and further to Naturno (asphalted), our starting point. There our 7-hour tour through two South Tyrolean valleys ends. 2.600 m difference in altitude are behind us!

Author: AP

If you want to do this MTB tour, please take information about the current conditions on site!

Starting point: Naturno, parking space
Signposts: Casera di Fuori (Voderkaser), 24, 26, Rif. Francesco Petrarca, cycle path (Merano, Naturno)
Distance: 90 km (in total)
Cycling time: 7 hours (in total)
Altitude difference: 2,600 m
Rest points: Voderkaser tavern (after 16 km), Malga Rableid (after 19.5 km), Malga Eishof (after 21 km), Rif. Francesco Petrarca (after 28.5 km), Malga Lazins (after 34 km)
Experienced in: August 2019

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