Transalp - From Miesbach at the Garda Lake
On the following pages, Kirsten Huber from Miesbach describes her experiences of her first crossing of the Alps. She was the only woman in a group of six men on the way. Have good fun with her experience report!
Preparation for the Transalp
Recently, everyboda talks about "Transalp". Everybody who has a mounstainbike is a little interested on it has already heard about it. All these enthusiastic reports about the Alp crossings on the bike had only provoked a shaking of heads to us! This must be trribly exhausting, it must take an eternity, how is it possible to find a good route, what about the luggage? All these were the thoughts crossing our minds.
January 2004: I am sitting together with my friend Maic and he tells about a friend that wants to make a Transalp tour and asked him to join. My first reaction: can I join? Sceptical view from the side: we are six men, do you think you can cope with that?
I am an enthusiastic mountain bike cyclist and said, without having any clue of what I was going to do: "Of course!" On this evening, we only talked about one thing: We are going to cycle with the mountain bike from Miesbach to the Garda Lake! We are on fire. Within the next weeks, there are countless telephone calls among our friends. Many organizational matters are cleared, but the most important question is still not answered:" Which route should we take and who is going to work it out?" There are a lot of traval agencies offering different routes, but we do want our own one.
There is a lot to do, but our job s gibt viel zu tun, but our job division is excellent. Christian and his brother Jürgen work out the route in agreement of the rest of the group, Carsten and Maic search on the internet for suitable accommodations and book the hotels after the route is defined. I have nothing else to do than training my fitness as much as I can, as after some day tours with the men I had a queasy feeling and doubts if i could cope with that. In any case, I do not want to arrive as the last one at our stage destination of the day and to give the men a head start for the cappucino and apple strudel ... This is why I have some extra days of training. And it was also good this way, as after all, the altitude profile of every day is at least of 800 m height difference.
Meanwhile, the date is also determined: we start in the first week of August and will be on the way for seven days!
June 2005: due to the bad weather, two planned day tours are suspended. We still did not really know how homogeneous we would cycle as a group, a thing that will get clear during the tour. I still have this queasy feeling, although the men promise to always wait for me.
Begining of July 2005: last meeting before the tour starts. We talk about material and baggage matters. How many kilograms can be carried for seven days on the back without being a torture?. How many things does one need to get changed, what kind of tools are required, first aid, replacement tubes, etc.? We agree to a maximum of 7 kg per rucksack. This sounds like being a lot, I first think. But my first trials to pack result in a completely different matter. First attempt: 10,2 kg... this is not possible at all! Second attempt: Grudingly, I discard some important things (important to me!), the result: 8,9 kg! I give up after the third attempt: 7,9 kg. And it remains like that.
In the course of the tour I notice that it is possible to live minimalistically for some weeks without any problem! August is approaching and therewith our day of starting the tour. We have to do the last revision of our mountain bikes. I leave my bike to some expert's hands, Heini, the owner of a mountainbike shop, where it is put to the acid. Finally, the bike is already six years old and already did a lt of kilometres. But everything is fine with it. Two days befor the tour, we watch he weather forecast with a frown. The forecast predicts a lot of rain for the next days and above the height of 1800 m also some snowfall! Our highest points are the Pfitscherjoch and the Rabbijoch, each of approximately ca. 2000 m height!
Our stage destinations
1.Day: Miesbach – Fügen 70,3 km, 765 altitude metres
2.Day: Fügen – Dominikus hut at the Schlegeis 48,9 km, 1323 altitude metres
3.Day: Dominikushütte – Pfitscherjoch – Jaufenpass, St.Leonhard 80,4 km, 1830 altitude metres
4.Day: St.Leonhard – Meran – St.Walburg 50,0 km, 935 altitude metres
5.Day: St.Walburg – Rabbijoch – Dimaro 48,5 km, 1547 altitude metres
6.Day: Dimaro – Madonna di Campiglio – Ponte Arche 56,0 km, 1657 altitude metres
7.Day: Ponte Arche – Torbole, Lago del Garda 36,5 km, 1317 altitude metres
In total, approximately 390 kilometres and 9374 altitude metres!
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Author: Kirsten Huber; Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz