Stella Alpina 2009

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Andy G, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

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    As promised in the same thread in the European section I'll post a short report and some pictuers of this years Stella Alpina, Europes highest motorbike rally on 2000m altitude in a valley of the Colle Someiller at the border region between France and Italy. If you have been there please post your pics!

    On the way to Maloia pass in the nowhereland between Austria and Switzerland:

    [​IMG]

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    at the top of Maloia pass, Switzerland:
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    setting up camp at the refugio Scarfiotti:
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    an important part of the rally is to attempt the peak of Colle Someiller at 3005m. This year I was stopped by a snow field at 2500m:
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    some folks on lighter bikes got a bit further:
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    a view down on the rally camp:
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    meeting friends:
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    on Sun. morning I met inmate blacktiger at Bardonecchia to take over Bacon (more about bacon can be found here). Blacktiger & Bacon arriving:
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    having some coffee
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    my plans were to go further south to try the so called Ligurian mountain ridge border road (in german we just say LGKS). It's a leftover from the last war, a unpaved, unmaintained high mountain road following the Italian-French border. On of the last little adventures you can do (almost) legally in the Alps. To go to the entry I chose to first take the Colle delle Finestre, a pass whichs north ramp is gravel. On top of Colle delle Finestre:
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    the next pass on the way south is the Tende pass, south ramp gravel with 20+ narrow switchbacks. On top of Tende pass:
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    descending the south ramp:
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    if you look closely you see some of the switchbacks:
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    the destination for the day was Pigna, last village before entering the LGKS:
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    the cows are brought to their summer pasture:
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    entering the LGKS and climbing above the clouds:
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    the highest peak you can climb on that road is Monte Saccarello:
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    where they have a nice litte shrine:
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    and a giant Jesus statue:
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    the building on the next peak somehow looks like a buddhist Tschörten / Stupa:
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    above the clouds:
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    sometimes it was rocky:
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    sometimes fine gravel, but you don't want to do any mistakes there. Few people, a long way to the next hospital (for European conditions at least:
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    at some places there was still snow:
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    but somebody must have moved it away
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    for the last 15km it got really rocky. Big loose boulders where hard work on the heavly loaded bike:
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    somewhere around there I got stuck in snow and mud, and I swear Bacon helped me pushing ;-). After the snow I came to a barrier, but I didn't want to ride back so I managed to sneak around. There was a little landslide, but not a real obstacle. I was so conentrated riding that I forgot to take pictures of there events. I also must admit that I was a bit nervous riding alone up there without anybody knowing where I was. But the scenery was worth it:
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    some km later I reached the next barrier:
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    I had to take off the panniers to sneak around:
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    the sign says that the road is closed for undefined time due to a landslide. This landslide could easily be removed by one person with a shovel in two hours, but it's so much easier and better to close the road and forbid us to have fun.
    At the end of the LGKS you reach Fort Central on the top of the Tende pass again. It's an old WWII fortification. But first you have to climb that washed out Jeep track (I didn't know that there was a easy way up on the other side...)
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    Fort Central:
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    I like exploring old structues...
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    the easy way leads throu the barracks:
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    then we where on the 750km ride back home...
    [​IMG]

    If anyone asks, I would never ride any forbidden roads or recommend to do so. I will deny everything, I have never been there, the pics are made with Photoshop.

    Cheers, Andy
    #1
  2. Mario Shi

    Mario Shi Been here awhile

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    :thumb
    #2
  3. egret

    egret noob

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    Thanks mate for your wonderful piccies ! :clap :clap :clap How was your ride up there....any hiccups for that altitude?
    - zie Egret.
    #3
  4. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

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    Thanks! No probs at all, the old TA didn't miss a beat. I was a bit nervous cause I destroyed my tool-tube on the Someiller and lost all my tools. So I could not even have fixed a flat, but luckily nothing happend and the bike just ran great.

    Cheers, Andy
    #4
  5. boboneleg

    boboneleg we can rebuild him.

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    Excellent Andy :clap

    and I never saw you ride past that barrier :lol3

    Bob.
    #5
  6. Transalp Jas

    Transalp Jas Been here awhile

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    Very enjoyable post!
    #6
  7. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

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    For some reason, I can't see your pics. (firefox or IE)
    Anyway, I have the feeling I need to go this way soon, before it all get's closed.
    #7
  8. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Great report Andy, thanks.
    #8
  9. Motodisiac

    Motodisiac Moto Terrorist

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    Nice, you are quite good with Photoshop..... :rofl
    #9
  10. 7575KK

    7575KK KK

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    I saw thay you and rest had good time on Stella while I was ill. :cry

    I'm jealous :D

    KK
    #10
  11. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

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    Very nice pics and enjoyable report, Andi, thanks for sharing! :clap

    However, I am always told that you shouldn't go trail riding on your own... :evil No, Bacon does not count!

    Glad that all went well and you had a great time. The Colle delle Finestre looked really crowded but judging by your photos the traffic density fortunately thinned out a bit further on - another photoshop job? :D

    Thanks for putting the 'LKGS' on my list! :thumb
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Wow! Beautiful.. thanks for the gorgeous pics and report :thumb
    #12
  13. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

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    Someday I will hit the Alps. Your post reminds me of that. Thanks.
    #13
  14. icekube1

    icekube1 Middle aged git

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    Nice RR Andy. My palms got sweaty just looking at some of those drop-offs.

    Bike looks good. Go the TA.
    #14
  15. Lewy

    Lewy Minus the LC8

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    Look forward to reports on the Stella Alpina every year.

    Bacon is sure getting around
    #15
  16. chef_mario

    chef_mario Adventurer

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    wundervoll Andy with a single trip you have made two of the best ones of the Italian Westen Alps paths

    Ciao
    #16
  17. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Lovely! Thank you for your wonderful report.
    Cheers!
    #17
  18. Salt Lick

    Salt Lick Weissbiermann

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    Fantastic! Thank you. :thumb
    #18
  19. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

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    Hi Ela!

    You are absolutely right! Never go trailriding alone, with a bike so heavily loaded that you propably won't be able to pick it up after a fall, without anybody knowing where you are, in remote high mountains, without tools, on forbidden closed roads, no cellphone coverage... but we call ourselfs ADV-riders, don't we? :D

    (I spent a lot of time in the mountains since I was a child. I had a tent, a sleeping bag, enough food and water for 2 days. My Dad was a good teacher when we were climbing, hiking, ski mountaineering, I think I would have been able to cope with most situations, and I at least met 5 or 6 persons up there)

    What happens if you try to access one of the pics directly? e.g. copy following link directly into the location bar of your browser:
    http://www.agrimm.net/reisen/stella_alpina_2009/img/stella_alpina_lgks_000.jpg

    Can you access my website (www.agrimm.net)?


    Mario, I think I saw you riding with your son on the Someiller. Please post your pics if you got some!

    @all others: Thanks for your nice comments! That's what makes writing reports fun. :norton

    Thank you all,

    Andy
    #19
  20. kejago

    kejago Kev. Haute Savoie, France

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    Nice one Andy!
    #20