Explore Southern Switzerland in "Discovering Ticino" - Video

Mar 13, 2018
by KC Deane  
Views: 15,914    Faves: 140    Comments: 17





The Ticino region is a unique part of Switzerland tucked in the south just across the border from Italy. At first glance, the somewhat posh region with a tropical feeling might be quickly overlooked as a riding destination. Palm trees, Bentleys, and multi-million dollar mansions that surround Lake Maggiore seem more like a facade once you spend time in the area. Beyond that is some of the best mountain biking in Europe with the Carbon trail being one of the best shuttle trails offering some unreal enduro riding. With the help of the Ticino Freeride crew, Mason Mashon, myself and Capture.Share.Repeat. spent a week riding all the trails from the valley to the alpine that Ticino had to offer.

KC making his way down towards Ascona Locarno on the carbon trail. Photo Mason Mashon
KC making his way down towards Ascona Locarno on the carbon trail. Photo Mason Mashon

KC and Mason high in the alpine above Ascona Locarno in the Ticino region. Photo Milo Zanecchia
KC and Mason high in the alpine above Ascona Locarno in the Ticino region. Photo Milo Zanecchia


Mason making his way back to the hut on top of Mount Tamaro overlooking Ascona Locarno. Photo KC Deane
Mason making his way back to the hut on top of Mount Tamaro overlooking Ascona Locarno. Photo KC Deane


Cruising the streets of Ascona Locarno Photo KC Deane
Cruising the streets of Ascona Locarno Photo KC Deane
KC cooling off in between rides outside of Ascona.
KC cooling off in-between rides. Photo Milo Zanecchia

Mason Mashon Photo KC Deane
Photo Mason Mashon
Mount Tamaro has some insane views above and below the water. Photo Mason Mashon

Ticino at Sunset Photo Milo Zanecchia
Last light on the carbon trail.


Big Thanks to Ascona-Locarno and Ticino Freeride for sharing this place with us.


MENTIONS: @CaptureShareRepeat @KCDeane




55 Comments

  • + 12
 lovely video mix of three tours they did - can only recommend to visit in atuum...
and if you stay out ascona & lugano you'll even find hostels for €40.- PP ..
for tour info check "la traversata infinita", monte bar or cimetta on strava ..
  • + 5
 Appreciation of Enduro Riders in Swizzy is soso... Ticino is not that bad but be aware from central Switzerland. People are quite crass here and maybe throw things at you - if you'r on the wrong farmers land... Go for Monte Tamaro if your in to DH and visit Ticino. It's stoney and ruff and good. And opens March 29th! Go for it as you hit the trail. Otherwise meet all the hard Granite we have in the Ticino woods... Anyway, the bouldering here is world class. Check out Cresciano, Chironico and Brione if you have fingers of steel.
  • + 2
 Some bits of Switzerland actively encourage mountain bikes, a good example is the Canton of Graubunden (ie Davos etc). Other places like Rigi have huge signs up saying that bikes are banned. A bit of research is always good...
  • + 1
 @korev: I'll say that next time I encounter an angry farmer in Graubunden, or Wallis, or Bern, or.....They are in every kanton and the only thing you can do is ride faster then they can yell at you. I just laugh at them.
  • + 4
 Switzerland has so many cool places to ride! Never had the time to ride some trails down in the italien part. When you have Verbier and les portes du soleil 20 minutes from your door step it's hard to resist. There are too much insane trails to hit before arriving in the Ticino. #f**kswissproblems
  • + 1
 Haha, yeaa, especially Verbier kicks ass! Best Bike Park imho. Tamaro was a real thing in Ticino for DH but unfortunately it's not open anymore for DH or at least you pay 23 chf (!) for one ride as they do not sell bike-tickets no more... Frown
  • + 4
 Any younger people headed to Switzerland - I really recommend you rent a car and bring a tent with you. That way you can stay in campsites for cheap, eat out of supermarkets and generally keep your costs down. Hotels and restaurants in Switzerland are so expensive it pains me - particularly Zermatt. We're talking like £300+ a night hotel rooms and £35 for a main course Eek
  • + 4
 Why rent a car when I can drive there in 2h Razz
  • - 5
flag angueloff (Mar 13, 2018 at 2:29) (Below Threshold)
 For that reason they (Swiss) are living in Germany and France, skiing in France, Italy and Austria. Swiss is for Russians and Arabs nowadays, but who can blame them. Smile
  • + 25
 Haha seriously?! First, this is not Zermatt. Even in Zermatt you will find Hotels for around 100£ a night, the hotels in Ticino are cheaper. There are hostels too. So even though prices in Switzerland are admittedly higher for certain things, please don't be fooled by comments like these.
  • + 4
 Damn phone lagging. Just meant to upvote
  • + 12
 I just paid 280CHFs (£210) for four nights sharing an a apartment in Andermatt (another expensive resort) in the peak of the ski season. The place was a cross between a Bond villain lair and something Kevin McCloud would get tight trousers about.... You don't need to spend that amount on a hotel room. Self-catering can save you a tonne of cash too.

A lot of resorts have hostels which are 60CHFs or so a night. I can't remember how much we paid in Zermatt last year, but it was less than a quarter of the above.
  • + 1
 @korev: If you know where to look and have insider knowledge I don't doubt you can find good/better deals. The same is true of London - but it doesn't mean London as a whole isn't expensive. For a young person from a lower income country working against a bad exchange rate (fckn brexit) Switzerland is a very expensive - particularly for hotels and restaurant food. Rather than people be put off by the prices and go elsewhere I'm just saying you can do it for cheap if you want to.

I love Switzerland as a country. It's truly beautiful and has great people - but you need to have serious disposable income to be able to go to a Swiss ski resort and pay for hotels and eat out. Income most young people don't have.
  • + 4
 @angueloff:
Yeah right. Swiss may go abroad for holiday, but I don't know any that moved across the border to France or Germany.
  • + 2
 @tom666:
This is of course true. You have really nice campgrounds in the Swiss mountains that cost a fraction of a hotel room (even if you get a deal) and don't require any reservations. If I was traveling from the UK, I'd probably throw a tent in my car, cross the channel and spent my time camping/riding in the Alps.
  • + 2
 @tom666: ticino is the lowest income/cheapest and arguably most beautiful part of Switzerland. Not cheap tho but definitely not super expensive, if you stay away from fancy stuff off course.
  • + 1
 Don’t they have hostels? Renting a car can end up costing way more than you think! Unless you’re in the know of the one way return rental program some companies offer.
  • + 1
 Well, Loosing a 10,000 USD bike..... Will make any of these savings seem fairly stupid.... Where to store the valuables ???

thanks!
  • + 4
 @tom666: want some insider knowledge? I could tell you about some top-secret places like Lidl, Spar and Migros, or about a site on the dark web called AirBnB, but then I would have to kill you.

It's quite a while since I travelled as a young, 'poor' student, but my hazy memories are of finding the shelves in the supermarket where the discounted out-of-date food was rather than living like James Bond and eating out in restaurants.

The "restaurants and hotels are way more expensive than self-catering and camping" rule applies universally, even in places where you might consider hotels and restaurants 'affordable'.
  • + 2
 Switzerland is quite expensive yes. For budget trips there are plenty of beautiful other countries around.
But as many already said, if you know your way around a little bit and don't need the fancy stuff, it can be affordable. Just hit up some locals or even us guys here on PB for some tips. Usually we're happy to help ;-)
  • + 3
 @dsut4392: Judging from the reactions maybe I've communicated poorly. Let me explain. I was told by family and friends not to go to Scandinavia, it's too expensive. Don't go to Switzlerland its too expensive. Go somewhere where your money goes further.

But I rejected that. Me and 2 friends drove around Sweden, Norway and Denmark for 3 weeks in 2016, we went everywhere from Stockholm to Lofoten, did everything we wanted to do and spent under £1000 each. The next Summer we did a similar 3 week trip to France, Italy and Switzlerland, including a weeks accommodation and lift pass in Morzine - again for under £1000.

I'm not saying don't go to Switzerland, quite the opposite, do go to Switzerland - don't be put off by the price of hotels or restaurant food. You can do it for cheap. If you want to pay more for AirBnB rather than camp do it - but bringing a tent is a great way of seeing these more expensive countries that are otherwise pretty inaccessible. Also if you have a job and limited holiday I can see why you would be more keen to spend more money to make it more comfortable, but for students I think it's ideal.

I know a lot of people my age never go anywhere because they think it's too expensive.

@ignaciosevil: Make sure you get insurance for your trip. Lock the shit out of your bike, make it the hardest bike to steal in all of Switzlerland. Be careful where you leave the car and/or your bike. Sleep right next to it if possible.
  • + 1
 @tom666: All very true. When I first visited here ten years ago for work the exchange rate the pound was worth about twice as much as it is now against the Franc.
  • + 1
 @mtbakerpow: They do, I've stayed in a few. The trains and buses are excellent but pricey. There are a few tickets and half price cards available to non-residents which can save a stack of cash.
  • + 1
 I'm in agreement with you, the exchange rate changes took Switzerland off our family holiday destinations, now we cross the Swiss border with a van load of food, stay a few nights and retreat to Italy for affordable luxury. On the plus side, during the German holidays Switzerland is now deserted compared to Italy and Livigno.
  • + 2
 Having arrived in Bellinzona only two days ago for an internship of 4 months it's nice to see this posted, some good timing!
Does anyone know of a group of riders in the area I could join?
From my experience it's always best to follow the locals for discovering the gems Smile
  • + 2
 www.mtb-mag.com/forum/forums/ch-ticino.134
ask the guys there, that website is based in Lugano
  • + 2
 One of the beautiful videos I've seen in last time. Really nice editing and attention to details makes me feeling into the movie, and that selection of music gives a new fresh look to seemingly already familiar places in Swiss. Great work.
  • + 1
 Stoked you enjoyed the video and really appreciate you sharing your thoughts! Such a unique and beautiful part of Switzerland.
  • + 5
 it's quite strange to see my hometrails on pb! tropical Switzerland rulez!
  • + 1
 You have some epic trails and views in your area!!! We can't wait to return.
  • + 5
 Amazing filming well done, love the editing and music choice
  • + 1
 Appreciate the comments! Amazing memories creating this with an awesome crew. Cheers!
  • + 3
 This makes me want to walk out of the office and ride my bike in the mountains Smile
  • + 2
 From what i remember, Ticino is awesome to ride!!! but very steep and so the climbs are too!
  • + 1
 Definitely some steeper zones but we've found a good mix of everything there. Almost all the trails are Shuttle-able as well. Carbon Trail is the spot if you haven't been there in a while. They've been developing the trail quite a bit the past couple years and they aren't slowing down. It's accessed by shuttle and offers 4500+ft decent with epic views of Ascona-Locarno.
  • + 2
 Climbing??? WTF??? This is Chairlifterland.
  • + 3
 That video mesmerized me.
  • + 2
 realy ! be friendly to the locals and inteligent so you can keep the costs under control seriously!!!
  • + 1
 Does anybody know where the lake in the thirs photo from the end (Legend: Mason Mashon Photo KC Deane) is? I know the region a bit but could not find that lake/dam.
  • + 1
 Nevermind I found it. It's the lago Naret but it's closer to Airolo than Ascona/Locarno.
  • + 3
 Amazing Video, great edit...does a more perfect place exist?
  • + 1
 Appreciate that! Endless fun in Ticino, on and off the bike!
  • + 2
 Riding Ticino end of April?
  • + 1
 Generally winters are much shorter in the Ticino Region than others in Switzerland with only a few months of snow. Should be good to go in late April. Check with Ticino Freeride, Patric there is a great guy to connect with.
  • + 2
 I concur, beautiful region
  • + 3
 Nice places!
  • + 0
 Stay in Como (IT) area and enjoy these trails and many more in an easy and cheaper way ;-)
IMHO Carbon trail doesn't worth it.
  • + 2
 Nice video and great photos, thanks for the post.
  • + 1
 Thank you for the positive comments! Stoked you enjoyed the project!
  • - 2
 Switzerland is beautiful and the people are nice but it is quite expensive and quite frankly even if you commit to paying for it the food sucks, well except for the cheese. Currently I am living in Switzerland but I can't wait to get back to Spain where the food is great and the spirit and ambience (and trails) are much better.
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure there are daily flights between various different cities in Switzerland and Spain
  • + 2
 nice
  • + 2
 great filming!!
  • + 2
 Thanks!!!!

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