Stelvio to St. Moritz

Clowning around on Monday morning at Stelvio Pass.
Clowning around on Monday morning at Stelvio Pass.

I barely turned a pedal for the first 12 miles on Monday, June 9. Tom and I posed on the cheesy awards platform at the souvenir shop before we headed down through the snow into Switzerland.

Tom and Ginny wanted a Swiss stamp in their passports but there was no one there.
Tom and Ginny wanted a Swiss stamp in their passports but there was no one there.

It was not as busy on the Umbrail and the Swiss border control was nowhere to be found. Since none of us we’re carrying more than 10,000 Swiss francs we did not bother filling out a claims form that was left In a box on the empty customs house.

Negotiating a hairpin while descending on Umbrail.
Negotiating a hairpin while descending on Umbrail.

To say descending the Stelvio the day after climbing it was enjoyable is an understatement. We were free, laughing, and winding down the switchbacks. It was not long before we heard bells ringing on the Swiss cows. If I was a cow, I would want to be a Swiss Cow. As long as I could survive the loud, heavy bell, I’m sure I would be content roaming the Swiss countryside, eating the clover, and drinking the fresh water. We even saw some cows leaning against a rotating nylon-brush cow massager.

The village of Sta. Maria at the bottom of the Stelvio in Switzerland.
The village of Sta. Maria at the bottom of the Stelvio in Switzerland.

Eventually we would have to do another pass, just as steep as the Stelvio but much, much shorter, the Pass del Fuorn, at a mere 2,149 meters and only five or six switchbacks. but it was hot and we were still tired from our effort the day before. and the motorcycles were back racing about willy-billy. At the tourist trap at the top of the pass we treated ourselves to a cold bottle of Coca Cola. We had no Swiss francs so the cashier converted my euros. They were 5.25 euros each.

It was still a distance to Dt. Moritz and we were dragging our butts. The thunderstorms started popping up around us again as they had on most days. We saw several lightning bolts searing from cloud to ground and one of them started a small woods fire. that blazed for a few minutes and then smoldered. When the rain started we took cover under the highway. We met three cyclists from Innsbruck and we all finished in the rain into St. Moritz.

Racing the thunder clouds into St. Moritz on wet roads
Racing the thunder clouds into St. Moritz on wet roads

Our “warm shower” host for the night was Chris Bischof and we really appreciated it. He shares an apartment with his girlfriend in “lower” St. Moritz, where the help stays (think Palm Beach / West Palm Beach).

Our host for the night, Chris Bischof.
Our host for the night, Chris Bischof.
Chris's apartment has a  "veloraum".
Chris’s apartment has a “veloraum”.
A veloraum is a secure bicycle storage garage in the basement.
A veloraum is a secure bicycle storage garage in the basement.

We decided to take the Bernina Express train to Chur the next day and I slept soundly on a pad on the floor in Chris’s living room.

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5 thoughts on “Stelvio to St. Moritz”

  1. It just gets better every day! How was the (Umbrail Pass (el. 2501 m.) is a high mountain pass on the Swiss-Italian border connecting Santa Maria in Val Müstair with Bormio in the Adda valley. On the Italian side, it connects to the Stelvio Pass road. It is currently the highest paved road in Switzerland)? Was it a crazy Down-Hill

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