During the last mountain bike season we unfortunately saw very little of our adopted home of Flims as we were so often travelling from race to race. Unfortunately, after eight years in this paradise for mountain bikers, climbers and winter sport lovers, we still haven’t ticked off all of the boxes.
Now it is autumn in Flims, we can cut the race plates off our handlebars. We are happy but tired from the long Enduro season, the strenuous races of the Enduro World Series have taken their toll from our bodies.
All we want to do now is to be at home and stay here for a decent length of time. Our desire to race is satisfied until further notice! Our spirit of adventure however is still “hungry” and soon we are looking for a new challenge. Before long we hear about the mountain hut “Camona Vorab” and suddenly we have a new goal. We have to go – to spend a night in this hut amidst the beautiful mountains of Flims sounds so tempting.
However, getting hold of the keys to this jewel isn’t so easy. You have to know someone who knows someone who is in the team that maintains the cabin. By a round-about route we manage to get hold of the keys and make our way towards adventure. Our first goal is the Vorab glacier which we know only from snowboarding and not from mountain biking. The glacier is 3000 meters above sea level and we reach it by pure muscle power as all cable cars and shuttles have closed down by late October.
Once we reach the glacier, a raw but impressively beautiful landscape awaits us, full of ice and water polished boulders known as the Flims Slick Rocks. The weather suits the landscape, and an icy wind whistles around our ears while we enjoy the rocks and trails with our bikes. You have to find your own tracks here, and quite often they finish up in dead-ends filled with icy glacier water.
One could stay forever on this glacier playground. However, twilight soon begins to fall and a single-trail descent still awaits us before we reach the mountain hut. We follow the red and white painted stones which mark hiking trails in Switzerland, through fields of boulders, rocky outcrops formed by the glacier, and flowing mountain meadows. At last we can see our overnight resting place – its red shutters shining from a distance.
Check-in at a mountain hut means fetching water, firing up the power generator and lighting the stove. In return you get the best view ever, while drinking a cup of self-made welcoming tea. As dusk falls it is soon cold outside and we are in need of a hot and reviving drink – a “flammli
”. That’s the name of this speciality from Graubünden which must be part of every evening in a mountain hut. For this we crush two sugar cubes in a little coffee, drink the coffee, leaving the sugar behind, and fill the cups with a generous helping of pear brandy. The sugar-brandy mixture is then spooned out and set on fire. We play with the flame until the sugar caramelises, blow out the flame and drink the hot “flammli
” – Viva (cheers).
We sit together for a while and think back over the memorable day. The “flammli
” has increased our fatigue however and off to bed we go and are soon sleeping like hibernating marmots. No ticking alarm clock disturbs the peace.
The first rays of sun tickle us awake and tempt us out of bed, as if willing us to take in the splendour of the rising sun on the mountains. After a mountain breakfast, we prepare to set off. A last farewell to the hut and we continue with our trail-adventure. This winds whistles over rocks polished smooth by centuries of ice. The path can often hardly be found and again we seek our own line through the sea of boulders. Reaching the valley below, we have descended 1000 metres and passed through many different types of vegetation.
The exertions of yesterday's ascent are forgotten and our hands are not even cramped after the ride down. Our only cramps are from the big grins on our faces. A mutual glance confirms that we have not enjoyed the peace of the “Camona Vorab
” hut for the last time.Photos
: Philipp RuggliText:
Huge thanks to Flims.com
for providing us the best hometrails we could wish for
Follow Caro & Anita throughout their season on: facebook.com/TwinsmtbRacing