Switzerland 2012: Aletsch Arena - Fiesch and Bellwald Downhills - Part 3 of 4

Feb 21, 2013
by Lee Lau  
|| Grindelwald/Jungfrau || Aletsch Arena - Alpine Rides|| Aletsch Arena - Fiesch & Bellwald downhills || Jeizinen in the Sonnenberg || Switzerland - General Tips and Tricks (must read for DIY'ers or if you want to know more about the country)


Grüezi Mitenand
(Writers note - continuing from the story about the alpine of the Aletsch area ...)

Fiesch downhill

Märjalensee is the logical end of the culmination of many alpine rides on the Fiesch side of the Aletscharena. Options to get down from 2450m to valley floor at 1200m are varied but both times we did the fantastic Fiesch- Fieschertal singletrack descent This descent has a view of the Fiescherglacier. The combo of views and uncrowded fast not-so-steep-that-you're-always-on-brakes downhill was so good we did it twice instead of exploring another descent down to Fieschertal which is supposed to be steep at the start but looked like it would be fun too.... bad journalists (the other trail is the left fork in a junction just as you go by the Vordersee leaving the Gletscherstubbe. It means we have an excuse to come back to this slice of heaven to explore again right?

Unlike many other Swiss downhills this singletrack stays good all the way to the valley and is singletrack the majority of the way. No chue feld, very litte chue scheisse, for some reason very few wanderers. Just flow. Do it!

The start of the Fiesch downhill. The faint track to the left is another downhill to the toe of the moraine at the Fiescher Glacier that we didn t get a chance to check out. This is basically at the top of the plateau near Marjalensee just after passing the Vordersee

The start of the Fiesch downhill. The faint track to the left is another downhill to the toe of the moraine at the Fiescher Glacier that we didn't get a chance to check out. This is basically at the top of the plateau near Marjalensee just after passing the Vordersee


The Fiescherglacier in the background is the dominant feature of this ride as well as the singletrack downhill that drops you 1100m to valley floor at all-mountain grade

The Fiescherglacier in the background is the dominant feature of this ride as well as the singletrack downhill that drops you 1100m to valley floor at 'all-mountain' grade


Fiesch downhill fun Not chue weg. Not busy. Great grade

Fiesch downhill fun Not chue weg. Not busy. Great grade

Fiesch downhill fun Not chue weg. Not busy. Great grade.


The Fiesch downhill is one of the best pure bike descents we've ridden in Switzerland.




Bellwald

On our third day we went up the Fuhrgangen gondola to ride Bellwald which is a mountain-bike specific downhill area. A Matterhorn-Gotthard Bahn (railway) quick trip from Fiesch takes you about 200m uphill paralleling the main highway on the valley floor and drops you off a gondola. The Fuhrgangen gondola is yet another Swiss gondola seemingly deposited in the middle of nowhere and drops you off at another small village. From there you ride up about 100m to the base of the Bellwald downhill bike supported trails.

Of course there's an alp restaurant where you can have yet more coffee. This was a weekend day but late in the season so the trails weren't all that busy. Usually we avoid mountain-bike specific trails in Europe like the plague. We live in Whistler/North Vancouver and ride that all the time so for us, we want to see something different.

However we'd heard that the Bellwald was worth riding and found it to be good DH track that's not fall-line and punched like many of the Swiss tracks we've seen in the late season. However it is a stop on the IXS downhill circuit and it has some big hits to test your mettle. DH bikes are nice for it as the track is best ridden at full speed; Lee found that mid travel 29ers & semislicks don't quite cut it as he cased some pretty big gaps.

From then on we took some road/singletrack sections from Egga down to Fieschertal then to Fiesch. This is a nice mellow ramble for a short day and goes through several typically Swiss charming villages. Perhaps not something I would recommend as a must-do but a nice way to get away from crowds on a Sunday

Fuhrgangen I can t believe they built another gondola

Fuhrgangen I can't believe they built another gondola


There are two downhill mountain bike trails off Bellwald. A freeride one and a more flowy one. They were in pretty good shape

There are two downhill mountain bike trails off Bellwald. A freeride one and a more flowy one. They were in pretty good shape!


We took a few different wanderwegs right back to Fiesch

We took a few different wanderwegs right back to Fiesch

We took a few different wanderwegs right back to Fiesch





Aletscharena rides

For more pictures of the area see the entire photo album set here - includes photos of landmarks and notable features

(Click on the links to bring the maps up full-page. You can download GPS also if you want to replicate the loops)



Fiesch downhill

Statistics
Length: 8.3 km
Duration: 7 hours, 49 minutes, 32 seconds
Vertical up: 22m
Vertical down: 1232 m

Switzerland - Fiesch - Aletsch Arena



Märjelensee - Fiesch - Fieschertal - Aletscharena Sept 8, 2012 from Lee Lau on Vimeo.



Fiesch - Fuhrgangen - Bellwald - Fieschertal - Fiesch

StatisticsLength: 14.1 km
Duration: 2 hours, 35 minutes, 31 seconds
Vertical up: 611.9 m
Vertical down: 1079.1 m
Average Speed: 5.4 km/h

Switzerland - Feish - Bellwald



Fuhrgangen - Bellwald - Egga from Lee Lau on Vimeo.




Big thanks to Tourism Switzerland (particularly Ursula and Mariel who did a fantastic job making sure we saw the highlights)

Thanks also to the people at

Fiesch Tourism particularly Nadine Blatter who was unfailingly patient and courteous
• Kurt Schweizer at Bike Store Schweizer


Our bonus Swiss biking video courtesy of wizardry of Tom Malecha features riding from the Lötschental valley between the Bernese and Valaisian alps

BI|KE - A Symmetric Vehicle from Filme von Draussen on Vimeo.




21 Comments

  • 2 0
 Been there this summer. It was really nice. I did an easier version of the Fiesch - Aletsch Arena trail they posted here with my girl friend and it was amazing. We were staying at Bettmeralp and could rent some basic Rocky moutain XC for 10 franc, helmet included! Not the best bikes but I quickly forgot about it when I saw the scenery...
  • 2 0
 Maybe this is not the best place for this, but, could we get some people desiring to go do all this tracks in Switzerland, make a group and travel there to doit all togheter? I suppose creating a thread in the forums, we could arrange, setting a tentative date and else!
  • 3 0
 There is an active Switzerland thread on PBike. I see you already created one. I'll pop in there every now and then if you have questions. Try to concentrate on regions. Switzerland is small but also big if you know what I mean? There's tons to see.

Wallis (Serre, Crans, Verbier, Leuk/Jeizinent, Zermatt, Visp/Brig, Aletsch, Obergoms

Graubunden (see last years)

There's a lot more I'm missing of course. Like the Swiss part of the PdS. I hear Andermatt is amazing. Ticino is also a can't miss. And then we haven't even mentioned the south Engadin. Anyway all we did even in last year and this year's series is scratch the surface of a very deep historical country with lots of good biking
  • 2 0
 Keep in mind that in some areas a big group could be hard to accommodate. Trains and gondolas can get busy, especially if you're aiming for the peak summer months of June/July/August.

Anyway, looks awesome Lee!
  • 1 0
 Leelau, thank you!
  • 6 1
 Guess who's girlfriend has a chalet in this area! :-)
  • 4 1
 Thanks for mentioning her (;
  • 1 0
 Switzerland is ACE!
Went there and did 3 day route.Lenzerheide - Arosa; Arosa - Davos; davos to Lenzerheide.
used a firm called bike explorer and they organised moving the luggage so al u have to do is ride.
Fantastic.
  • 1 0
 on first graph top speed is 364,7 mph?! wtf but still it look great i'll go there one day....
  • 1 2
 that's altitude ( blue line ) , speed scale is on the right ( orange coloured line)
  • 1 0
 Ya we know, but there's a glitch on the speed
  • 1 0
 It's a 'feature' of the software.
  • 1 0
 Totally - just realized the speed glitch after we uploaded the tracks. Would have to be a in squirrel suit to get that speed
  • 3 0
 one day... one day...
  • 1 0
 If you need a trailmap with the most popular trails
traildevils.ch/trails.php
  • 2 0
 swiss love .-)
  • 1 0
 Had my honeymoon in switzerland, extremely beautiful place and will be back many times when my kids get a little older so they can enjoy all it has to offer as well!
  • 1 0
 Drive line on the left???????
  • 1 0
 My guess, mirrored the image of the rear wheel to get the wheels 'spinning' in the same direction.
  • 1 0
 367.4 mph!!! Going uphill! These guys are good.
  • 1 0
 Switzerland is dope!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.021951
Mobile Version of Website