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Old 07-16-2009, 12:13 PM   #1
Andy G OP
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Stella Alpina 2009

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:





at the top of Maloia pass, Switzerland:


setting up camp at the refugio Scarfiotti:


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:


some folks on lighter bikes got a bit further:


a view down on the rally camp:


meeting friends:


on Sun. morning I met inmate blacktiger at Bardonecchia to take over Bacon (more about bacon can be found here). Blacktiger & Bacon arriving:


having some coffee


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:


the next pass on the way south is the Tende pass, south ramp gravel with 20+ narrow switchbacks. On top of Tende pass:


descending the south ramp:






if you look closely you see some of the switchbacks:


the destination for the day was Pigna, last village before entering the LGKS:


the cows are brought to their summer pasture:


entering the LGKS and climbing above the clouds:




the highest peak you can climb on that road is Monte Saccarello:


where they have a nice litte shrine:


and a giant Jesus statue:


the building on the next peak somehow looks like a buddhist Tschörten / Stupa:


above the clouds:


sometimes it was rocky:


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:




at some places there was still snow:


but somebody must have moved it away


for the last 15km it got really rocky. Big loose boulders where hard work on the heavly loaded bike:






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:






some km later I reached the next barrier:


I had to take off the panniers to sneak around:


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...)


Fort Central:


I like exploring old structues...






the easy way leads throu the barracks:




then we where on the 750km ride back home...


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
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
Mario Shi
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Nice

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Old 07-16-2009, 01:09 PM   #3
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Thanks mate for your wonderful piccies ! How was your ride up there....any hiccups for that altitude?
- zie Egret.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:15 PM   #4
Andy G OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egret
Thanks mate for your wonderful piccies ! How was your ride up there....any hiccups for that altitude?
- zie Egret.
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
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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Excellent Andy

and I never saw you ride past that barrier

Bob.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:34 PM   #6
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Very enjoyable post!
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:34 AM   #7
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Awful pictures :))

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

I'm jealous

KK
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:46 AM   #8
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Very nice pics and enjoyable report, Andi, thanks for sharing!

However, I am always told that you shouldn't go trail riding on your own... 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?

Thanks for putting the 'LKGS' on my list!
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:53 AM   #9
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Wow! Beautiful.. thanks for the gorgeous pics and report
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:55 AM   #10
Gaston Gagne
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Someday I will hit the Alps. Your post reminds me of that. Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:59 AM   #11
Lewy
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Look forward to reports on the Stella Alpina every year.

Bacon is sure getting around
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:13 AM   #12
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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
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:53 AM   #13
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Lovely! Thank you for your wonderful report.
Cheers!
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:17 AM   #14
A-Wind
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What a great ride.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:55 AM   #15
Andy G OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpy

However, I am always told that you shouldn't go trail riding on your own... 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? And what should I do, the only alternative would be NOT going riding...
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?

(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)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbert
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.
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_...a_lgks_000.jpg

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


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Mario
wundervoll Andy with a single trip you have made two of the best ones of the Italian Westen Alps paths

Ciao
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.

Thank you all,

Andy
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