Route 2: Section 1 ; cycling Andermatt to Disentis , Switzerland

Highlights: Andermatt, Oberalp Lake

Route 2: Section 1 (Andermatt 1437m–Disentis 1135m). Peak at 2044m at Oberalp Pass. 

Stats from SwitzerlandMobility.ch (https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycling-in-switzerland/routes/route/etappe-0922.html):  32km, height difference 640m Andermatt–Disentis (950m in opposite direction). Their site has the full profile. 

May 2022

Overview:

4-day vacation + Sunny weather = bike-touring 🚴💪👍😜

Finally I got the chance to bike over the Oberalp Pass, in Canton Uri, open only during the warm months. 

At 2,044m, the pass sits next to the homonym lake (Oberalpsee) and connects the historic resort of Andermatt (Uri) to Canton Grisons/Graubünden. 

The entire route is very customizable since many of its villages are connected by a fabulous mountain railway, even up and beyond the Oberalp Pass/Lake at 2000m!

This bike route is so called Rhine Route because it follows this river for its entire length through Switzerland (and beyond). The source of the Upper Rhine indeed is only 3 km south of the Oberalp Pass. Additionally, this Route is also known as Eurovelo 15 (Rhine Cycle Route) in Europe, because it continues along the Rhine for an incredible 1,500km journey, from Andermatt to the Rhine Delta on the North See near Rotterdam, crossing 4 countries (https://en.eurovelo.com/ev15 )


Landmarks

Route 2 starts in Andermatt at 1,400m (see Route 1:01 & 3:04). 

ANDERMATT
Andermatt


The village is located in a high valley nestled between the Alps. It sits at the crossroads of four National Bike Routes (#1, #2, #3, and MTB-1), surrounded by three major Alpine passes: the Gotthard (south), the Furka (west) and the Oberalp (east); in fact, to avoid any climbing, the only downhill direction is straight nord towards Lake Lucerne. 

Views of Andermatt

And so, after a 5-hour train journey, here I go, starting in late afternoon the 600m elevation climb along 10km of hairpin bends, from Andermatt to the top of the Oberalp Pass/Lake at 2044m. 

From Andermatt to the Oberalp Pass

In this trip I have no time to leave the bike and hike the 3km southbound to Lake Toma, the source of the Rhine, but a stop on the Pass and Oberalp Lake is a must.

Oberalp Lake , 2027m
Oberalp Lake , 2027m
Oberalp Pass , 2044m

And then it starts an exhilarating 15 km descent via numerous switchbacks carved between high mountains, until the old village of Sedrun (1,400m) and beyond. 

Descent from the Pass towards Sedrun
Views of Sedrun

This trip was a last minute decision during the 4-day Ascension holiday, and, as expected, most of the lodgings were full. This forced us to stop for the night after only 24km, in Sedrum, a quiet alpine village about 8km before Disentis.

Sedrun

On this side of the Oberalp Pass we are in Canton Grisons/Graubünden territory and more specifically in the region of Surselva, the largest Romansch-speaking area of the Canton . The house,  “Tgèsa” , is also decorated with “sgraffiti”, although in a much lighter and simpler way compared to the Engadine house.

Section 2:01 actually ends in Disentis (1,100). Tomorrow I will complete the additional 8km of descent towards this monastery village. And then onto Section 2:02 until Chur. 

Links to Introduction and other Sections:

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