Tende to Vintimiglia – day 4


Early morning, some snow and a hard decision

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We are up very early, the weather is clear and it’s super cold, there’s ice on the weather. Wrapped in our sleeping bags we watch as the sun rises slowly over the mountains, it’s so beautiful, the sky is clear and we can see the all the way down to Tende and most of the trail we rode yesterday.

With the tent, sleeping bags and everything packed, we head back toward Fort Centrale where the main trail continues, we try the alternate route over the mountain but it’s to muddy and steep, so we decide to ride the main trail for now. The trail is going up up up and then a bit down again, it very hard and we end up pushing the bikes several times, the patches of snow are getting bigger and bigger as we struggle up the mountain, it not something to worry about.. yet.

But as we crest the next mountain ridge the trail is now on the shadow side and there are a lot of snow…

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Halvvejs oppe og kigger ned i dalen jeg er kommet op igennem, kan lige se Geneve søen i det fjerne.

Getting som fresh cold mountain water

Campsite, første nat var meget urolig

Getting ready for the day, Fort Centrale in the backgtound

Snow & sun

We carefully traverse 4-5 large snow patches that cover the trail, it’s very time consuming, but we end up getting some good biking downward, that is, until a large steep snow patch covers the trail again, and this time, if you fall, you will end up on big rocks in a lake 20m below, not very nice!

Martin makes a path across the snow and makes it safely to the other side, he then crosses back to get the bike and backpack, we cross it together and head for a nice patch of grass beside the lake beneath us.
Everything gets pulled out of the backpacks to dry in the nice hot sunlight, we eat, drink and have a nice break laying in the sunlight.. in our undies!

Looking back at Fort Centrale

Walking on snow

Nice break in the warm sunshine, the wet gear are out to dry

Should we turn around?

From here-on it.s up again, there are still patches of snow, but they are small and no problem to traverse, it is ridiculously beautiful up here, we are in the high mountains (2100 hm) at this point.

Just when we think we’re out of the worst snow, we come to a dead-end! We are riding on a narrow ledge, just enough room for one car, when we come to a place where the trail is covered by snow. as we are on a ledge, the snow is almost vertical…. almost.

I try to make a path across, but it is to dangerous! If i fall, i will hit the big rocks 50m below, the snow is melting, full of water and very slippery… We just can’t cross.

After some debating, we head back the way we came, earlier on i noticed a small trail down the mountain, toward Tende, we decide to try that, it looks promising. The plan is to go back to Tende and from there to La Brigue where we can access the trail again a bit further south and hopefully with no snow.

Spectacular views at every turn

Going down?

So down we went, carrying, pushing or riding the bikes! The trail is hardly used and then only for hiking, it was actually hard to find at some places. We had a small rest at a farmhouse, martin did a “superman” (over the bars) on the last bit, and i wanted to check him over before we went on!

The trail continues into a narrow ravine following a small stream, we had to push the bikes most of that section, it was quite narrow and exposed in some places, elsewhere we even had to “bushwhack” and cross the stream 2 times, the trail leveled a bit and we were able to ride the bikes again.. sweet trail!

took a small break and made coffee, i was nice to sit a bit in the sun and just enjoy the warmth.

Again nice trail but it ended up into the, by now, small stream, and we had to wade in the shallow water, it was covered in ferns and grass so we couldn’t see where to put our feet, i took a wrong step and sprained my ankle… again, it hurt, but i could continue. the rest of the way down was a blast! super nice flowy trails thru the forest, over rocks and roots, all the way down to Tende.

Hard descend, still crossing patches of snow

Pastures in the summer, but empty now

A well deserved break, enjoying coffee and a snack

Tende to Nice?

It took a bit over 3 hours to get down the trail, nice and scary at the same time, In Tende we stopped by a small restaurant and bought sodas, big icecreams and coffee, we tried to decide what to do next, head toward La Brigue and the trail or down to Nice and celebrate Rasmusses 40’th birthday, that we had been invited to… what to do?

We went to Nice! had beers, good food, nice company and stayed the night!

Nice view, and as you can se, the trail is hardly there