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Old 07-16-2009, 12:13 PM   #1
Andy G OP
2wheeled alpinist
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: eastern Munich outback, Bavaria, Germany
Oddometer: 551
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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