Switzerland 2021

Sunday September 5, 2021
Cardada Cimetta

Monday September 6, 2021
Passo del Bernina

Tuesday September 7, 2021
Julierpass and Albulapass

Today was the first day I needed to use the bus to ride to the next hotel - St Moritz.

4h19m from Locarno to St Moritz - a train, a bus, then another train
Direction Castione-Arbedo
645 Locarno Platform 2 711 Bellinzona Platform 1
walk to bus station
Direction Chur, Postautosation
Bus 742 Bellinzona 926 Thusis, Bahnhof
The computer on the bus got confused, I was worried we were 10 minutes late and I'd miss the connection in Thusis.
I think the gps missed the first stop then it cascaded from there..
It was a long bus ride up that valley.
Nice and remote.
IR Direction St Moritz
930 Thusis Platform 3 1100 St Moritz

The train from Thusis to St Moritz is the east end of the Glacier Express, the scenery was stunning.
Unfortunately I got zero nice pictures due to the glare of the windows.

10:01 Switzerland time 02:01 California time

10:01 Switzerland time 02:01 California time

10:02 Switzerland time 02:02 California time

11:15 Switzerland time 03:15 California time

The town of St Moritz is up a serious hill from the train station.
Seem to be a minimum of half a dozen cabbies, usually in uniform, waiting at the train station for the rich and famous, who would never think of walking up that hill.
I dragged my way too heavy toward the end of the trip backpack up hill to my hotel.

I got a single room at the 'Petit Steffani' through booking.com for a steal - 118 chf  / night including breakfast.
Trouble is, there is no such thing as the 'Petit Steffani' according to google or anyone else.
The four star Hotel Stefani has three small dark rooms (two single, one double) in the very back with views of a dark courtyard and fire escape.
However I got the same breakfast everyone else got, and I got to place my bike in the same storage room everyone else used, so I was very happy.
I didn't see any other rooms in any of the towns up here for anything like 118 chf / night, most rates were closer to double that or higher.

The only bike shop in St Moritz www.bikelocal.ch wanted 300 chf for 4 days for a Specialized Aethos. 
When I asked if they had anything cheaper, they said no.

faehndrich-sport.ch in Pontresina only wanted 152 chf for 4 days.
I figured it was worth it to spend an hour each way on the bus (or less on a train) to get the bike for that kind of money.
It was much more of a pain than I would have preferred, esp since I decided that all the climbs should start from St Moritz.

Once I got my bike, I then rode back downhill to St Moritz so I could start biking up Passo del Bernina from the proper start.
On the way back to St Moritz, I got (lost) off the main road in Celerina and ended up taking the back roads to St Moritz.
It was very pretty and I did get to see the Olympic bobsled run, I didn't take any pics though..

12:47 Switzerland time 04:47 California time

12:53 Switzerland time 04:53 California time

The circle in front of my hotel.
Now I can start the ride up Passo del Bernina 2328m, the 31st highest paved road in the Alps.


13:11 Switzerland time 05:11 California time


13:12 Switzerland time 05:12 California time

13:41 Switzerland time 05:41 California time

Bianograt and Piz Bernina from Montebello

The view got more and more amazing as I approached Morteratsch
I had a vague idea that there may be a 4000m peak here, but I had no idea how beautiful it would be...
I later texted the guys

Dusty: 2 trains and a long bus ride from Locarno to St Moritz
Dusty:  The last train ride was stunning, as is this place...
Dusty:  biked Bernina pass...
Dusty: Morteratsch Glacier and Piz Bernina...

Kent's annotation, note blue line above Biancograt

Kent sent this picture two days later, but the texts occured today
It took me nearly that long to figure out exactly where Biancograt was on my own.
Even looking at Swisstopo and this pic for extended periods of time, I only figured it out shortly before he sent this.

17:34 Europe time 08:34 California time
Kent: You got a great shot of the Biancograt
Kent:  AD, III
Kent:  Similar in difficulty to weisshorn
Kent:  I really wanted (want) to climb it
Kent:  https://www.summitpost.org/biancograt/329975

17:41 Europe time 08:41 California time
Dusty: I seriously doubt I'll see anything that cool for the rest of the trip, but now I know where to go back later this week if i get more time...
Dusty: should be much better pic in the morning light, though I'm pleased with what I've got...

19:28 Europe time 10:28 California time
Dusty: 3-1/2h from Zurich ...
Dusty: from anywhere east of Brig you'd go through Zurich (or spend days on trains)

13:41 Switzerland time 05:41 California time

Bianograt and Piz Bernina from Montebello

14:37 Switzerland time 06:37 California time

PANO - scroll right

Passo del Bernina looking southeast

14:42 Switzerland time 06:42 California time

14:51 Switzerland time 06:51 California time

The top was nowhere near as scenic as the view from Montebello of Biancograt.

14:55 Switzerland time 06:55 California time

PANO - scroll rioght

15:16 Switzerland time 07:16 California time

On the way back down I waited for the Bernina Express to appear in the foreground at Montebello.
I'd lost the sunlight, but it was still a nice shot.

15:16 Switzerland time 07:16 California time

It was crowded, everyone else pulled over to take the same picture.

15:18 Switzerland time 07:18 California time

15:47 Switzerland time 07:47 California time

15:47 Switzerland time 07:47 California time

Muottas Muragl
View is supposed to be nice up there, I would go if I had time...

16:31 Switzerland time 08:31 California time

St Moritz.  I made it back!

17:08 Switzerland time 09:08 California time

My room

17:09 Switzerland time 09:09 California time

My room

18:43 Switzerland time 10:43 California time

Hotel Steffani lobby

19:08 Switzerland time 11:08 California time

Sausage and cheese salad....
wurst-bergkase salat..

19:39 Switzerland time 11:39 California time

Dusty: Hauser, place across the street from my hotel, has outdoor dining and some plexiglass to cut the wind...
Dusty: a little chilly at 1700m..
Dusty: this area is full of the both the ultra rich and the outdoorsy types, not much in between..
Dusty: St Moritz is lots of 5 star insanity and Pontresina where i rented my bike seems about the same..
Dusty: my tiny room has a view of the hotel fire escapes, that's ok, the price is right, anything else was way more...

19:53 Europe time 10:53 California time
Dusty: Local smoked salmon and tatoes..
Dusty: yum...

19:57 Europe time 10:57 California time
Paul: "Local" Salmon must be pretty old
Paul: Internet says no wild salmon have been in Switzerland since 1958 due to dams and hydroelectric plants

19:57 Europe time 10:57 California time
Paul: Could be farmed I suppose.

20:03 Europe time 11:03 California time
Dusty: "Pure alpine salmon."
Dusty: It was probably farmed locally, it was certainly not bright pink like ocean salmon
Dusty:  It was yummy enough.

20:07 Europe time 11:07 California time
Paul: Switzerland ain't cheap
Paul: $35 for 6 thin slices of salmon and a few little boiled potatoes
Paul: Lots of worse places to be though!

20:13 Europe time 11:13 California time
Dusty: I did not pick Switzerland for its affordability
Dusty:  It was kinda low on that list
Dusty:  I did look up "McDonalds" on google maps, there isn't one here (nearest is Italy) but that search immediately turned up a donner box / pizza place 5m up the hill (everywhere is up the hill here, train station is about lake level)

I read the obituary for Jean-Paul Belmondo and sent a link...

20:22 Europe time 11:22 California time
Dusty: Am i the only one who's never heard of either Jean-Paul Belmondo or the movie "Breathless"?

22:02 Europe time 13:02 California time
Ray: hmm
Ray: Is it double or triple X?

Kent's pic

22:07 Europe time 13:07 California time
Kent: This guy looks strong but is really Having an epic on 5.6 of Stuart's
Kent:  He's on a 5.2 section here
Kent:  Been at it for a long time and he's roasting in the sun
Kent:  I went around on the left
Kent:  :)
Kent: That's becoming my move....

22:32 Europe time 13:32 California time
Paul: Looks like a pretty day out for a climb though
Paul: I just got to the top of a nice 2 mile hike
Paul: Warm but nice breeze
Paul: Happy Labor Day

22:33 Europe time 13:33 California time
Paul: Jed
Paul: Is it your birthday?  Or is my social media email thing lying?

22:37 Europe time 13:37 California time
Jed: Lying
Jed: However it was Saturday
Jed: So close enough

22:50 Europe time 13:50 California time
Paul: Happy Birthday then!

22:51 Europe time 13:51 California time
Ray: Happy birthday, Jed!

22:53 Europe time 13:53 California time
Jed: Thanks!

05:20 Europe time 20:20 California time
Dusty: Happy Birthday Jed!

Sunday September 5, 2021
Cardada Cimetta

Monday September 6, 2021
Passo del Bernina

Tuesday September 7, 2021
Julierpass and Albulapass