After a night in the van in Nauders we made the quick drive down to the Reschensee.
We parked the van up at the bottom of the Schonebenbahn chair lift, got some breakfast on the go and Aiken put the bikes back together.
Breakfast done we went and bought day passes (in some broken German courtesy of Aiken), and jumped on the first lift of the trip!
While on the chairlift we had a look at the map and chose the 3- Lander Grenzstein trail which takes you through Italy, Austria and Switzerland (well that’s exciting).
We were greeted with another cracking view at the top, and we were straight into our first descent, looking for the turn off for the ‘transfer’ onto the next trail… and subsequently ended back at the bottom! Just a word of warning, whilst the map that is provided looks pretty (a 3d map), it is pretty poor (FYI Nauders tourism) and not very accurate! HOWEVER, trail 98 (Oberer Schoneben) was bloody awesome, roots galore! Imagine all the roots, went to a root party, where there were only roots, that’s what it was like. I’m guessing there hadn’t been much rain recently though because there was plenty of grip even on the roots. Trail 99 (Unterer Schoneben), was a little less of a root party and a bit faster, but still just as good. Back up the chairlift, down the initial descent before bumping into a chap called Vitek from Poland, now of Germany, who sells log burners (cute) who was also trying to find the 3-lander trail. So with a bit of figuring out between the three of us we managed to get on the right transfer along the side of the hill.
After a fair bit of climbing, (which was a surprise to me considering we had got on a chairlift- just sayin’) we reached Reschner Alm, which was a lovely view point.
Then you are really in for a treat, super scenic singletrack, that weaves you through meadows, between two alpine lakes (Gruner See & the Schwarzer See), and most notably taking you through 3
countries (hence the name of the trail)!
Then it’s onto another fireroad transfer (this one’s easy though I promise) to the top Mutzkopf chairlift and another load of trails.
These ones are a bit different to the first hill we rode though, a little more manicured and a little less rooty. We went down the Obere Gerry Trail, which finished in some of the sickest most fun turns before popping you down to the lift station. We couldn’t resist another go on this side of the hill so loaded the bikes onto the (OMG-terrifying) lift, bike hanging by its poor front wheel by my side, and Aiken on the chair behind texting me to check I was coping ok (I’m generally not a fan of lifts like these!). Death cheated, we had another amazing run down back into Nauders before heading over the other side of the village to the bottom of the Bergkastelbahn lift.
This was a longer, but thankfully fully enclosed bubble lift! (so relieved).
Off the lift we rode 20m of fireroad before dropping into what seemed to be an almost brand new section, that shot you along the edge of the mountain on a mini- A-line, but with no traffic or braking bumps! This was the start of the most amazing trail for me in this valley, the Bunker trail. Called this as it carries you over and between WW2 anti-tank traps and fortified bunkers! There’s no barriers up to stop you going in or on them too! It really is super cool, and a very real experience at the same time (my grandad is going to be really impressed).
The trail weaved its way down the mountain side down towards the Reschensee, occasionally giving you stunning glimpses of the lake and village at the bottom.
This trail got pretty steep and techy once it reached the woods, and was an awesome way for us to finish our day. One option you’ve got is then heading along the next transfer around the lake, and into St. Valentin before heading up the final Bergbahn Haideralm. From the top here you can hit up 2 trails directly down the Haideralm, the Haider Flow Trail, and the Haideralm Trail. They follow a similar route down but couldn’t be more different! However, that was all she wrote for us that day as it was getting on and we were starving!
After a night of biblical rain (and a leaky van door) we woke up to quite a nice morning, if a bit wet and chilly on the edge of the lake. After the nights downpours (not forgetting the thunder and lightning-not a fan), we were admittedly a bit tired and bummed out. We quickly perked up though after a coffee in Hotel du Sprinter, realised we’re not made of sugar, layered up in our Morvelo kit, bought another day ticket (29 euros) and headed back up the lift into the clouds!
As we’d missed the trails over on the Haideralm the day before we were keen to get back over and ride in the slop! So from the top of the Schonebenbahn we headed out over towards Haideralm. This trail was magical as it contoured alongside the mountain road, dropping and climbing through the cloud and stunning woods! After the roots party that I attended yesterday I was slighty nervous about todays conditions. Thankfully it was also surprisingly grippy, and had held up really well after the storm (well done Daniel Tulla). We switchbacked our way down the woods into St. Valetin, and jumped on the Bergbahn Haideralm to the top. Quick mountain-top Latte and a very friendly waiter (he congratulated Aiken on having a good women), and a look at the ducks, rabbits, and goats they had up there we dropped into the first trail that takes you to either the Haideralm (techy and steep), or Haider Flow trail (not techy or steep).
We opted for the Haideralm for a challenge, and we were greeted by a fantastically well built track, full of roots, drops, but endless flow throughout! On the way down we bumped into another nice chap, this time a young German lad called Mirco. We went up to do a second lap after Mirco flatted, and couldn’t resist a repeat!
The 2nd run down was even better, as I searched for high-lines into turns, and hit sections much quicker than the first run down! (NOTE- depending on the length of your ride, you might want a full-face for this side of the valley.) After meeting our new mate at the bottom, we headed back up once more to follow the Plattweg trail. Now this was completely different again from all the rest, a lot more ‘enduro’ then the rest and harder on the lungs and legs with little rough downs quickly followed by challenging short climbs! Now I unfortunately ate sh*t, on an open section of turns. Think I just lost concentration, washed the front end out and faceplanted pretty heavily(ouch, thought I’d done some serious damage)! Aiken and Mirco came back to help and nursed me down the rest of the trail, eventually we rejoined the road and pedaled back to the van alongside the lake.
The boys then headed back up the Schonebenbahn to rattle out some ‘hot laps’, and I saw them again an hour later with huge grins and covered head to toe in mud(well jel). A wooden bridge had got the better of Mirco and he had also crashed pretty hard but looked like he had gotten away with it! According to Aiken, he rated the valley and its trails as one of the best places he had ever ridden his trail bike, and I couldn’t agree more!
The trails here certainly aren’t easy, by any stretch of the imagination, but nor are they ‘OMG I’M GONNA DIE and die’ which was a relief to me! They are so well built and have been planned, and executed so well to use the terrain and maintain just so much effortless flow. 10/10 would ride again!
Nauders we’ll be back. ( I want to go back now!)