Enjoying the views during the climb up to the Es-cha hutYou are in for a treat if you follow the suggestions of Herbert. This time we went into the Engadin and rode 3 days the best trails around St. Moritz.First stop: Lunch at es-cha mountain hut with great trails for dessert
We arrived around lunchtime at the "Sporthotel Pontresina" which was the base for the next few days. There was more than enough time left that day to go for a first ride. In order to get a decent amount of downhill, we started off with a shuttle from Bike School Engadin up towards the Albula pass. The shuttle dropped us at the start of a short but punchy climb to the Es-cha mountain hut. The hut is not only really cute, it is also the starting point of the first trail of the Hammer Days.
The climb is punchy, but as soon as you get to the hut the effort is forgotten, the views from up there are magnificent. And the food is great too!And this is the reward, a trail that starts directly in front of the Es-cha hut
We get homemade Pizzoccheri for lunch (a local special) and eat it in front of the hut, enjoying warm sunrays and the views. The hut is a member of the Swiss Alpine Club and open in summer and winter. We could stay for days - food and views are so good - but already from the hut, the upcoming trail looks badass. Not long after, food was served we grab our bikes and move on. The trail leads us all the way down into the valley to a village called La Punt.Beautiful bikes wherever you look - and a nice mountain hut as wellThe trail down from the Es-cha hut definitely had its perks
The trail starts off with a couple of rocks, or jumps for some. But the further down you get the more flow the trail offers - when you finally enter the forest it peaks and the trail gets super fast. With smiles for miles we end up in La Punt where the shuttle bus already awaits us. That first (half a) day out was definitely great. Too bad the trail ends this quickly, we could have continued in the woods for hours!We love train-shuttles! With the Bernina Express directly to the trail head
On our second day, a classic run was on the agenda - the excellent route from Bernina Pass down to Poschiavo. We took the Rhaetian train up to the Bernina Pass, such a beautiful way to get to the trail head. The views from the train were marvellous. From the Bernina pass, we have multiple trail options down to Poschiavo. The options vary from basically a flow trail, to some medium tech up to a trail that is basically a rock garden top to bottom. There is a Bernina loop that is therefore suitable for almost every mountain bike level. You see the bottom of that valley? Yep, only singletrack until you get there.
The trail starts with some rocky sections, becomes loose and there are a couple of hairpin turns as well. However, it gets easier by the minute. If you are not a big fan of stones, you should avoid this trail. After a very flowing forest passage towards the end of the trail, it changes abruptly into a very fast but stony old Roman path down to Poschiavo.Olympic ski crosser and a machine on the bike
La Rösa is for sure an amazing option down to Posciavo. But the nicest thing is that you don't have to decide which trail you ride that day. Just take the Bernina Express (the train) back up to the Bernina pass and ride another trail down to Poschiavo. Or the same twice, since all the options are heaps of fun!
After getting to Posciavo there is basically only one thing you need to do - Gelato on the central square. Proper fullgaz part
After gelati, we board the train with many other bikers and go back up to the Bernina Pass to ride the flow trail down back to our Hotel in Pontresina. Not much to say about this trail. Some might find it funny, some might find it boring. It's for sure a lot nicer than to ride the street. But our advice is: Spend more time on the Posciavo side of the Bernina pass.
Since Herbert likes to spoil us with the best offers from the region (not just the trails) we end up having a BBQ at Chesa Rosatsch in Celerina. Something we can highly advise. A nice way to end a great, long day on the bike for sure!Piz Nair - On the hunt for that sunrise light
After a very, very short night we get picked up by a shuttle at 3:30 AM to get to St. Moritz.
As our final day in the Engiadina, we will ride the best trails around the Piz Nair. But not only this, we also join the "Piz Nair Sunrise". With a special uplift that brings us on top of the 3000m high Piz Nair before sunrise. Early morning transportThe sun was behind some clouds, but still breathtaking!
Everyone looks forward to the sunrise. But clouds make it basically very hard for the sun to deliver a visually stunning performance. Or at least not just yet. Means breakfast for us at the Piz Nair restaurant.
The sunrise was not very spectacular, but a bit later we did get the amazing light everyone was hoping for. That light..
The trails around Piz Nair are classics and most if not all of the group new them already. Also here you will find a couple of nicely built flow trails. However, its the other trails around that Piz Nair that we count as the actual highlights. But go and have a look yourself.A lot of rocks and a happy crew
After three days of riding in the Engadin, we all agreed, the tours and its trails in this "Hammer Days" tour package are amazing. More information on them can be found here: Herbert BikeIt was hard to focus on the trails with views like that
- Balz Weber
- Sandro Schmid
- Armin "Ben" Wurmser