Stats: Brig (680m) to Riederalp (1,925m) and return. Length 50km (all paved), 1,400m denivelation
This ride was a spur of the moment (well, almost).
I had been notified via Social Media of this open cycling event organized by the association Climb the Giants ( https://ridethealps.ch/index.php/en/#concept ). I never participated in any organized cycling event before and I thought this could be the right introduction , with no pressure, no timing, free to start /end at one’s leisure, no cost and, more importantly, even by e-bike! And, with absolutely zero traffic!
“Ride the Alps” had already organized 4 amazing rides this summer to 4 different 2,000m summits in Canton Valais, all of which I missed. So I was very tempted to try this last one on the Aletsch Arena backyard. Only the weather forecast was holding me back (yes, in Switzerland you cannot be sure of the weather until 24h-48h before)
And so, once a spectacular forecast was announced for this day, I signed up, bought the train tickets to Brig (for me & my bike), and off I went.
And indeed this was a glorious day!
The first few km from Brig to Morel (the official departure point) were just slightly uphill and along the Rhone river.
From Morel, the road had been closed to traffic. Here the route starts a steady climb of 1,100m denivelation for 12 km until Bettmeralp, with wide stunning panoramic views of the valley below.
From Bettmeralp the road continues for a few km basically flat until the next mountain village of Riederalp (end of the ascent).
At the arrival, I rested and refueled my body with juices and snacks offered by the Sponsors, enjoying the fresh air of the Alps.
The only slight disappointment of the itinerary is that you cannot see the Aletsch Glacier along the ride, yet you are so close. Indeed, it would have been enough to leave the bike at Riederalp and take the Moosfluh gondola to reach a spectacular view point over the “eternal” flow of ice!
But the travel was long and I had to go back home. The descent was a thrilling 15-20km downhill mostly with no cars, meandering through the same hairpin bends that I had passed, panting, on the way up.
I had a really great day and exercise and I am looking forward to the 2023 edition!
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