Val di Sole
might be best known by the Mountain Bike lovers for the rooty and bumpy slopes of its World-famous Downhill track, the Black Snake, where one of the most anticipated World Cup rounds takes place every year. Nevertheless, there are plenty of alternative ways to enjoy the ride in this charmful area of Trentino, Italy.
While sometimes falling below the radar compared to its gravity courses and bike parks, Val di Sole has several beautiful itineraries to offer to those willing to spend some hours exploring on their mountain bike, and eager to work their way up to earn some of the most exclusive and breathtaking views on Val di Sole’s unspoiled nature.
The Epic Tour Great War
(or Epic Tour Grande Guerra, in Italian) is one of the most challenging, and arguably the most charming tours of the whole area. What today is one of the most cherished paths for MTB lovers has witnessed way less pleasant activities in the past: remains of the World War I can be found all over the course, running over the slopes of the Tonale Pass, going up to the Forcella del Montozzo, and then all the way down to the Peio Valley, giving the name to this tour.
Nevertheless, there’s no need to be a history fanatic to enjoy the experience. Instead, some training is needed – or at least very much recommended – even if the whole course is perfectly accessible also for e-Mountain Bikes. The loop starts and ends in Ossana, at the foot of the Tonale Pass from the Val di Sole side, running over 59 km with 2.400+ meters of elevation gain. That’s full-day business.
After climbing to the top of the Tonale pass and descending halfway to Ponte di Legno, a forest road leads to the typical village of Case di Viso, where the climb to the Rifugio Bozzi and the Montozzo starts. The road elevates from 1765 mt all the way to 2.651 mt, the maximum altitude of the tour. The slopes are tough, as the peak gets closer hairpin after hairpin, but as the incredible views open on the Ortles Cevedale and the Viso Valley, it is worth every bit of it.
On the other side, the downhill leads all the way to the Val di Peio, crossing a wide and seemingly never-ending valley. While rolling toward the Pian Palù Lake, you get the feeling of totally blending into the powerful nature: those 16:9 views seem to put everything into perspective.
When the Pian Palù Lake comes within sight, rocks start to surface on the path that suddenly becomes narrow and technical, making full-suspended bikes a much-needed commodity. But then, a creek cross introduces into the woods, and all the way to the lake that collects waters from the surrounding glaciers, providing the final incredible picture of the day. Photography & words: Michele Mondini
, Giacomo Podetti
& Vitesse Europe