Powder skiing during the 40-50cm storm that nearly broke the 20-day stretch of daily/nightly snowfall that welcomed us to the Alps. Between sunny days, snow fell for two more nights as we rolled east to Austria and Italy.
A glorious stretch of spring prevailed as we pedaled and skied our way through the Austrian-Italian border region just east of Switzerland’s Engadine Valley – a stretch that had us pushing to the high peaks of the South Tirol (home of legendary alpinist Reinhold Messner) and Ortler regions (where we pedaled and then skied out to a great mountain hut above Solda, Italy), savoring the tastiest pizza of our lives, dipping our heads into streams and wondering if our luck with the weather would keep up.
Magically, the weather held, and we stumbled upon some of most beautiful camps and ski tours of the trip on our way back into the heart of the Swiss Alps – via Ofen Pass (Pass di Fuorn). The spring weather also allowed us to enjoy some very tasty corn snow on the warmer, sunny sides of the mountains while the colder aspects took their time shedding April’s fresh snowfall in a truly impressive display of slab and sluff avalanches of all shapes and sizes. Distant rock, ice and serac falls only added to the mountain sound scape under the afternoon sun.
Clear skies and a rising moon had us lingering carefully in the mountains through the sunset hours. Cuckoos sang for us in the trees as we savored evening meals – and a few sips of schnapps – back at camp. Crispy nights under the stars had us stirring in no particular hurry in the morning. Dreams come easy in the fresh mountain air.
While rolling away from our last ski camp in the spectacular upper Albula Valley, we hit the brakes in little Bergun, Switzerland. Accessible only by train (or skis) through the heart of winter, the village tempted us to change our flights home and stay a while. Fresh goat cheese, soaring mountainsides and a very welcoming atmosphere held us for a good long while – enough at least to remind us how different life could be for all of us if we were the bike and walk more, drive less, (and invest in effective public transportation/bike/walk infrastructure), grow more food and flowers, buy less stuff and walk/talk more with our elders.
Eventually, the first thunderstorms of the season has us giving into gravity once again – bound for the beautiful home of our friends Lars and Barbara (and their little boy Tom) near Zurich, and ultimately, the great Green Mountains of Vermont.
Stay tuned for one last update, and a few more images and some video…soon. If you missed or are curious about other updates from this adventure, head to this link.
Brian and Emily
Quick snap after (skiing and) spotting a herd of Alpine Ibex (Steinbock), countless marmots, soaring vultures and a solitary lizard…while preparing for one of the most spectacular downhill bike rides of our lives.
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