Tiefencastel in the east of Switzerland, in the canton of Graubunden, is a perfect starting point for several beautiful climbing routes. Today, we visit the beautiful south-eastern side of Switzerland, of the Albula district and, of Tiefencastel. There are two beautiful mountain passes waiting for us. Do you want to join us?
Just numbers first. This route is about 100 kilometers long. We go up 50 and we go down 50. That's easy to remember. But it's barely flat. Already from Tiefencastel it goes uphill for the first of the two, the Albula Pass. Ini-tially it is mostly slightly uphill, but near Bergün it suddenly gets steeper. There you also get to see the spectacular Albula railway line. You will cross it a few more times, because the line climbs in a few loops to Preda where it disappears into the tunnel. Where the famous red train climbs about 3.5%, you'll have to endure it three times as heavy (read: steep) for about four kilometers. When you reach Preda you are al-ready above 1800 meters altitude, the highest point for the Albulabahn, but not for yourself. At the moment we are working on a new tunnel for the train which would be ready soon (end 2021). This will connect Preda with Spinas in the Engadin valley, near Bever. Remember the name, you too will pass through here. But first you have to cross the Albula.
And that doesn't really get any easier after Preda. The percentages stay in the "yel-low" with happy single strips to relax. After almost 30 kilometres of climbing you reach the top of the pass with the hospice. You are at meter altitude and have gained about 1500 meters in the last two or more hours. You have already eaten almost three quarters of the total number of altimeters dur-ing this route! Time for a reward. The road to the Avra valley initially runs down false flat. After about three kilometres that changes and you descend with almost 10% towards La Punt, the turning point of this route. There you can either follow the N27 to the right of the river Inn or the quiet other side for cyclists towards the famous Sankt Moritz. Soon you reach Bever (remember). A bit later you can cross the Bernina on your left towards Italy, but you keep following the N27 eastwards to pass Sankt Moritz and its ski resorts after 20 slightly ascending kilometres and to drive right into Silvaplana on the Julier Pass. You are now doing the mirror image of the Albula Pass. This means: a short climb to the top of the Julier pass, which is very steep for the first few kilometres, and a long descent to the starting point in Tiefencastel.
The south side of the Julier is quite a nice climb with beautiful views of the Bernina group and the lakes of Silvaplana. The climb itself is steep at first, but not very surprising. More or less straight ahead you reach the top quite quickly at 2284 meters. About the same height as the Albula Pass. The hard work is done and you can now enjoy a 40 km long descent towards Tiefencastel on a wide road along the Marmarera lake. ...read more