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mountainbiker rad person pfossental

MTB tour to the Gelato Pass and the Petrarca Hut

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 village. 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. The hamlet 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 Gruppo di Tessa Nature Park. The popular mountain hut can also be reached on foot on the Alta Via di Merano (Merano High Route). 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 Francesco Petrarca Hut 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 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. 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 Val Passiria 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

difficulty: difficult
  • Starting point:
    Naturno, parking space
  • Time required:
    08:00 h
  • Track length:
    91,8 km
  • Altitude:
    from 301 m to 2.895 m
  • Altitude difference:
    +2956 m | -2956 m
  • Signposts:
    Casera di Fuori (Voderkaser), 24, 26, Rif. Francesco Petrarca, cycle path (Merano, Naturno)
  • Resting 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)
  • Recommended time of year:
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  • Download GPX track:
    MTB tour to the Gelato Pass and the Petrarca Hut

If you want to do this tour, we suggest you to check the weather and trail conditions in advance and on site before setting out.

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