July 30, Pischa Trail, Davos Switserland

Last trip report from Europe!   What a month.  Can't say we had any problems on our month of Europe.  Never missed a train connection or got lost.  Pretty much perfect weather.  One day of rain, when we were ready for a day off.   Totally successful trip.

We finished our last day on an ebike again.   This was a loop with no gondola or chairlift help.  Perfect for ebikes.   We passed a couple of regular bikers on our climb and they were definitely walking up some the steep pitches.   This loop was nice in that it was almost all singletrack.  The first climb is not overly exciting , but as we broke out above treeline was very nice.  Fun downhill until the final stretch that ran straight downhill. 

July 29 - Durannapass #631

Holy cow.  We had Ebikes today, and it was supposed to be easier.  The difficulty rating for today's ride was only 3 of 5, and the Fitness rating was also a 3 or 5.  These Europeans are crazy.  We ended up with 40 miles, even though our description listed 44.6 kilometers.

Rode the Parsenn Funicular again, and made our way down to Strela Pass,  2346 meters.  Here we went right and dropped off into a new valley.  The trail was quite steep, and Kevin thanked Francine for picking a ride with such a technical descent.  She ended up walking a big chunk of the initial steep, loose, switchback terrain.

After a mile or so, the trail ended on a gravel road, and we descended rapidly, with the gravel turning to pavement.  We had some confusion at a covered bridge, right before the small town of Langwies.   Two other guys we met on the initial descent, not on Ebikes, decided to head up the trail, thinking it might be a short cut to Durannapass, where we were headed.  It was signed Durannapass, but our directions clearly said turn at Langwies at 1377 meters. We split with them and stayed on the main route.

Our description said "The next long but pleasant ascent starts in Langwies leading to the settlement of Strassberg".  This was actually a super steep paved road climb - barely pleasant with the ebikes on e-mtbike mode .  Our bikes have 4 settings - Eco, Tour, E-mtb and Turbo.  Francine's bike seemed to have more power, due to the weight to power ratio, being 40 pounds less than Kevin.  We climbed for a long time.  We never saw the two guys on regular bikes, and hopefully they are in really good shape, as we would never have finished today's ride without Ebikes.  I imagine they would never be able to make the climb, and would end up bailing down valley and looking for a train??

Stopped and had a break at Strassberg outside the restaurant.  It was amazing how many people had actually driven their cars this far to have lunch.  Continued our climb up to Duranna pass 2117 meters.  Thank goodness for the Ebikes.   It seemed like a huge climb but works out to 2,427 feet

After Duranna pass, we descended on double track then hit a good section of singletrack.  Then we had a good chunk of gravel roads.  Many of the mountain bike routes our a mix of trail and roads.  This route was incredibly scenic but only about 15 kilometers out of 44 were actual trail. We ended up dropping to the Gotschnag chair lift, had espresso, and rode the tram to the first station.  This time we descended the Gotschna Freeride (flow) trail. We had skipped this the day prior due to the rain.  It was suppose to be a take on A-line trail from Whistler.  It was a fun flow trail in good shape, but had quite a bit of freaky elevated wood rollercoater type stuff.  Also, the layout was not as conducive or safe for jumping like at Whistler.   Our tram to the trailhead was filled with poser(best dressed) mountain bikers that looked good but evidently don't ride real trails very often.   Seemed to not be many local riders.   After the A-line trail we were pretty fried.  Hot day, lot's of hours in the saddle.  Luckily we had ebikes!  Since we still had 3 of 5 bars on our batteries, we climbed in Turbo mode to Wolfgang pass.  Here we went left around the lake at Laret hamlet, and had more climbing in the forest in Turbo mode.

Went on the left side of Davosersee Lake this time, and stopped at the packed swim beach, complete with live music and windurfing rentals.

Made it back home at 5:30, a little later than we were expecting, as today was supposed to be easier Despite having Ebikes we are whooped.  39 miles of travel including funicular and tram ride.  Over 15,000 feet of descending.

Kevin heading down from Strela Pass

Still heading down from Strela Pass towards Langwies

Francine at one of the many cow gate crossings

End of first descent in Langweis

Hamlet of Strassberg for a break

Continuing climb towards Durannapass

Things are signed well, if you know where you are headed

July 28 - Random wanderings in Davos

Tried to take train down valley to escape rain in Davos.  It did not work.

Got a text from Marco at Bike Academy Davos, as he had a Rocky Mountain Instinct small, due to a cancellation.  We were having a lazy morning, and had to rush over to the shop, as our phone wouldn't work and we couldn't get the hotel phone to work.

As soon as we got the bike for Francine, and went outside, it started to rain.  We decided to take the train to Klosters(looked sunny down valley) and go ride the Gotschna Freeride trail, which just opened on June 23 of this year.  When we got to Klosters, it was raining.  On the train, our tickets were checked and we found out our bikes were not included on the rail pass.  $20 for the two bikes to go two towns down the valley.  At Klosters we rode the Gotschnabahn Tram up to the first station.  It was raining pretty steadily, so we gave up on the flow trail and it's wood structures and headed into the woods, repeating the last part of our Panorama ride. It was barely sprinkling and the trail conditions were great with a little moisture, and lower temperatures.  With the weather clearing we decided to cruise back through town to the Jakobshornbahn Tram.  At the first station we descended on their bike trail - Bike Technik #48, which was a bit stutter bumped out, but a new trail for us.  Rode the Jakobshornbahn tram back up, and descended on the gravel road Trail #47.  Nothing too exciting.

We went to the Coop, the local grocery store, for lunch and coffee.  Decided to ride back tthrough town to the Parsennbahn Funicular.  We repeated Monday's ride to Strela Pass.  Instead of taking the Panoramaweg, we parallelled trail #63, on a steep road.  Actually was super fun with interesting bits of cow paths, trail, and general cross country.  We had dropped probably 70 percent of our elevation when we spotted another unmarked trail.  This turned out to be a great descent in the woods, putting us in the Botanical Garden Alpinum paths.  We tooled around on these nice pleasant trails until we ended up on a gravel road, only to take a random left down a dirt path.   It was great until it ended in a meadow below the Schatzalp Hotel.  This is where Kevin says it got good and Francine got to practice her hiking skills again.  Actually Francine rode quite a bit.  Basically was a little used trail dropping straight down to town and our hotel.  At one point the grass got too tall to see the trail.  Fun stuff.  Rainy day turned into another great day on bikes.  Legs still tired.   26 miles travel and 11,000 feet of downhilling.

Grey start to the day, luckily sun came out for the afternoon

Francine, trying to stay dryer in the woods

Not too wet.  Bathroom break at Jakobshornbahn Tram mid station.  Flow trail
from mid station was pretty stuttered and not that great.  Did 2 laps from mid station before
switching to the Parsennbahn Funicualar after lunch.

Francine, trail visible in distance dropping off summit.

Kevin gets loose on way to Strela Pass

Below Strela Pass, mixed terrain.  

Trail pretty good here.   

Almost down, road in site

July 27 - Panoramaweg Trail #322 Parsenn

Francine on Panoramweg trail

Rode over to Davos Dorf (few minutes away) and stopped by the Bike Academy Davos, as they didn't have the bikes we reserved yesterday, and we wanted see if better bikes came in.  Kevin was able to get a Trek Slash, which he instantly said was a better downhilling trailbike on this steep terrain, than the Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 50, that he had yesterday.  The Altitude is more of a cross country bike.

They still did not have a bike for Francine, so she turned in the Trek EX Carbon for a Specialized Rumor, which ended up being too small, as we couldn't raise the seat post enough, did have better brakes, but just didn't handle the steep, rocky terrain everywhere, as well as the bikes we had in the Dolomites.

We rode the Parsenn Funicular, both of the two stages to the top.  Headed down to Strela Pass and out the 322 Parsenn Panaromaweg trail.  It is basically a wide gravel path (hikers can easily walk side by side) going by refugio Parsenhutte (hut) and on to Gatschnagrat.  The scenery down to Strela Pass is spectacular.  The wider trail was actually kind of nice for passing hikers, after yesterdays narrow trails filled with hikers.  At Gatschnagrat, Kevin could not take any more easy road like trails and spotted some skinny trail going down a side valley. we deviated and went off track and descended on some unknown trail.  Francine basically walked down for 2 miles and 2,500 feet.  Kevin, who had a more downhill oriented bike, enjoyed the black diamond rated trail and thought it was one of the better trails of the trip.  We did find it on Trailforks, called Chalbersass.  Francine did not really enjoy the hike.

At the end, we descended on gravel road quite a way down towards Klosters Platz.  Almost near the bottom, we turned off on some Blue (Intermediate) rated trails to the Gotschnaboden tram. At the first station, not the top, we went left on a trail, that turned out to be our original route, 322 Parsenn Panoramweg.  This was a nice, narrow, dirt trail heading back to Wolfgang.  From here, we were on the paved bike path/sidewalk along the road back to Davos Platz.

Nice day, and we got back about 30 minutes before a rain shower.  Only 20 miles today.  Kevin is starting to come down with a cold, but his sniffles and clearing throat hasn't gotten too bad.  Stopped in at Bike Academy Davos to see if they had a better bike for Francine, but they didn't as they were all reserved.

The main street in Davos Platz, Promenade, is closed due to the street fair, so all the traffic is routed up in front of our place.  After showering, we went to a little place, Biergarten Mountain's Akt, and Kevin had another Weiner Schnitchel (pounded pork, breaded and fried) and Francine had a Bratwurst.  It's hard to find food, as they use butter and dairy in everything, unlike Italy where they use olive oil.  Another excellent day.  Legs are very tired.

Near the highpoint of our ride

Top of the Parsenn Funicular

Restaurant at Strela Pass

Davos way down below

Davos Dorf

Francine actually riding part of the black diamond trail

Walking, it was steep!  Consistently steep.

Back on The Panoramaweg Loop.  

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