NO WAY TRANSALP 1999
All Photos on this page courtesy of Bob Allen
Today we accomplished day 4 of the “No Way Transalp” adventure. I’am trying to ride the most technical trails, or trails which were considered unridable for bikes, while visiting interesting landmarks along the way.
I’am the only rider, although several of our team members us bikes to move along with me. Our team consists of 7 persons. I’am glad to have the best in their fields along on my tour. Bob and Estela Alen for still photography, our cameraman Bernd from Take One on the betacam, the legendary Glen Jacobs as second unit camera, our tour director Uli Stanciu who worked out the route, and last but not least the “Schwab” (Thomas Rebholz)our driver of the ALPS support bus and person for everything.
We started last Monday at the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein in Germany, crossed the Austrian boarder on a gnarly hike&bike trail with a killer downhill that probably has never felt bike tires before. That night we met up with Axel Burkhard from Adias who equiped our whole team with tons of cool outdoor-adventure clothing and shoes with special “No Way Transalp” logos.
The next morning we met up with Schorschi Schauf from the Adidas Adventure Team who is one of the worlds leading extreme kayaking riders and characters. We filmed a great sequence with him in the Ötztal, with me following him on the side of the river on my bike. Despite the rain we continued to Sölden to ride on the Rettenbach glacier before calling it a day. Yesterday, was great, the sun was shining, we did a 4 hour uphill to the Simulaun Pass (italian boarder), and went to the place where they found Ötzi aka Frozen Fritze, the 5300 year old, fully preserved iceman which was found several years ago in the receding glacier. After that I rode the downhill of my life, not only was the trail considered impossible on a bike, especially the upper section, but it made Cape D’Ail, look like a walk in the park. I was proud to clean the whole 4 mile descend top to bottom, first try, especially since I had done it on a regular GT I-drive full suspension bike Today started with a 20 km singletrail downhill to Reinhold Messner’s castle (!), which has very impressive with quite a tibetan touch, unfortunately he wasn’t home. We worked our way up the Vinschgau Valley and ended up at the Tarscher Alm, the most cozy alpine hut you can imagine, where we’re spending the night right now (or soon). Tomorrow morning we’ll be doing more first descends, gnarly climbs, visit more beautiful places, collect tons of footage, sweat a few liters, have fun, and hpefully end up at Lago di Garda (our final destination) in one piece, early next week. Keep your eyes open for more “No Way Transalp” reports.
Hi everybody, this is the second half (Day 5 – 8) and final report of the “No Way Transalp” Adventure Team trip, on the most technical trails and trails that never had been ridden on bikes before, across the Alps.
Day 5: We woke up on the Tarscher Alm, it was raining, we decided instead of riding over the Tarscher Pass (the ordinary transalp biking route) to try a new trail that never had been attempted on bikes before to the Koffelraster Lakes and into the Ultental Valley. It was a brutal uphill (lots of hike&bike) and traverse to the highest point for 3 hours, only about 35% of it was ridable for me. The downhill was worthwhile the uphill, fast and technical. From the Ultental Valley we transfered to Mezzocorona.
Day 6: Today was highlighted by one of the coolest downhills I’ve ever seen. The trail from Mezzocorona Mountain winds down a vertical face (approx. 2000 feet elevation), it was hard to imagine that there was a trail. According to the locals it was another first descend for bikes, and according to Glen Jacobs it was the coolest downhill course on earth. Lunch at a local vinery and transfer ride to Madonna di Campiglio.
Day 7: In the middle of the Brenta, one of the most beautiful regions of the Alps, we traversed from the Rif. Graffer to the Rif. Tuckett, the trail can only be described as an endless boulder field, most hikers had a tuff time. Yet it proved to be another ridable (trialsable) trail, along the way I surfed some big scree field on my bike.
Day 8: Our last day brought us to the final destination, to Lago di Garda. First we crossed a 2000 year old Roman bridge, before I did a little side trip to the Drena Castle, the secret canyon behind the castle proved to be the toughest trail (it wasn’t really a trail, it was more like Canyoning with a bike), I finally had to dismount my bike a few times. From there we descended on the “Hans Rey Speziale – Piazzole” trail, which is named after me, to Lake Garda.
It took us 8 days from our starting point at the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein in Germany, to finish the “No Way Transalp” trip. Everyday we rode at least one trail that had not been ridden on bikes before, we experienced lots of singletrail and hardcore biking, some of the most beautiful areas of the Alps as well as numerous historical landmarks along the way. We got tons of great photos and footage of the most technical traverse of Alps up to date.