In 2011 I climbed the last part of the Bernina, from La Motta, when I made a trip over the Foscagno and Livigno. It looked nice enough, so I decided to get back there one day for the whole thing.
Today was that day and of course I wanted to start in Tirano – the whole thing or nothing, right?
And yes, I looked at the profile and it was clear that it wasn’t going to be easy. And once again, the stats proved to be worth shit, even when taking the 8+ kilometers of flat before Poschiavo out of the equation.
The averages in the second half are more destructive than you would read from the chart. In addition to that, you have no view beyond 50 – 100 meters ahead of you, so no orientation.
Just the Edge showing 8, 9, 10% – ALL the time.
The “nice” part I remembered, is basically the only hairpin section, but with a freezing, stormy headwind, it was not as much fun as it was in 2011…
At the summit, we had a break at the Cambrena, with “Sonnenterrasse”, after which we descended towards Samedan.
That was not at all easy – besides the the grades being lower at that end, the headwind was so strong, that I was glad Paula was able to pace me some of the way.
The only consolation was that I knew the same wind would be assisting me getting back up again. And it did – I was still grinding through the few steeper sections, but under normal circumstances, this climb can indeed be qualified as “easy”…
After a short break in the “Ospizio” at the summit, the descend back to Poschiavo was probably the fastest I’ve done these weeks, only interrupted by road works and obviously slowing down when passing the few inhabited areas.