Friday, February 4, 2011

Traverse of Italy, Ortles-Stelvio, Part I

Returning once again to the traverse of the Alps in northern Italy by Javier we continue with the Ortles-Stelvio portion of the trip. If you want to catch up on the series read:
Traverse of Italy, Introduction
Traverse of Italy, Alpi Carniche
Traverse of Italy, Dolomites North and Central
Traverse of Italy, Brenta Group and Val di Sole

Stage V is divided into 4 days beginning in Refugio Lago Corvo and ending in Livigno (see graph above), a total of 160km +. Since there are many terrific photos I'll divide this Stage V into two parts for the purpose of this blog; you can click on photos to enlarge them.

Javier continues in his journal of day one of this stage, "We cross the boundary of the Stelvio National Park/Stilfser Joch (sector Alto Adige/South Tyrol). After descending the Val di Ultimo/Ultental, you climb the Passo di Tarres /Tarscher Joch, to visit Val Venosta/ Vinchgau, and at the end arrive at the foot of the Passo dello Stelvio/Stilfser Joch.

It is a long leg of 77 km with 1700 m of ascent. Near the top of the first pass, Tarscher Joch, both the ascent and descent were very difficult including stretches where the trail was unrideable and I was required to carry my bike (2.50 km and 390 m climb, 1.30 km and 290 m descent). At the end of the day, a difficult stretch near Morter that I took by mistake and the gentle uphill slope of the bicycle path to Lasa/Lass really added up on my legs. I arrived really tired to Pratto allo Stelvio."

Tarscher Pass:

Otztaler, Stubaier y Val Venosta:

The pista ciclabile of Val Venosta arriving at Pratto allo Stelvio:

On day 2 of this stage Javier's plan is to, "head in the heart of the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio / Stilfser Joch ascending the Valle di Trafoi / Trafoiertal to arrive at Franzenshöse on the paved road to the top of Passo dello Stelvio. To avoid the highway at the bottom of the valley I ascended from Montechiaro to gain altitude to go Schartalm by traveling through small valleys against the walls of Ortles/Ortler coming out at Franzenshöse."

On the trail with Ortles in the background:

Ortles, Thurwieser y Trafoi:

Descending from Franzenshöhe in order to reach the Passo dello Stelvio roadway:

Arrival from the trail at switchback number 25 on the Passo dello Stelvio roadway:

The top of the Passo dello Stelvio (upper right), overnight stay at the Berghotel Franzenshöhe (lower left):

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