Monday, September 7, 2015

Stelvio Pass

This summer's family holiday was a road trip to Slovenia. Surprisingly close to the UK and plenty of good things to see on the way. We made a slight detour to take in the Stelvio Pass. I've wanted to drive / ride the pass for a good while, I guess my dream was rather to take a classic sports bike up and over but you take what you are given and in the end it was summitted with the wife and kids in a Volkswagen family van.

We went up from the Swiss side which was surprisingly quiet (at least in comparison to the Italian). The Swiss side is a narrow road with poor visibility for most of it so not great for getting up speed. The summit at 2760m is spectacular, slightly blighted with some pretty tawdry souvenir shops but you can forgive that for the views.

High season the majority of the traffic is cyclists, some ascenting with ease and some looking like their chances of reaching the top are slim. Hats off to all of them for having a go though. It's a tough climb. The sheer number of cyclists combined with family vehicles and the odd coach would make a sporting climb on a bike or driving a performance car slightly difficult and frustrating so my judgement would be best leave that for the other passes, cruise a bit and enjoy the views.

There is a campsite near the bottom on the Italian side, Camping Trafoi, which enjoys some of the best views from a campsite that I've seen this side of the Pamirs. Strongly recommended.

Glacial view on the way down the Stelvio Pass.

Dutch registered MG B descending the Stelvio.

That Dutch MGB again.

One of the hundreds of cyclists to take on the
ascent daily in season.

And another....

A couple of motorcyclists pitched up at Camping
Trafoi near the bottom on the Italian side.

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