Hut Hunters

Sometimes it’s good to throw yourself into a big ride. Like, a properly big ride. One that can only mean one thing – adventure.

Dotted across Switzerland are mountain huts. The Oberengadin Hut Tour links a number of these together and makes for a mountain bike ride that delivers thrills and views by day and a unique place to rest your head by night. The perfect way to scratch that big ride itch.

I meet Max Draeger and Patrick Güller, in Celerina, near St. Moritz. I’ve brought along my 4060 ST and plenty of Haribo. What more do I need?

The first day is moody and atmospheric. Mist clings to the sides of the mountains and rain clouds cover the tops, lending them a certain charm. The charm is wet though. Very wet. We reach the first hut at Alp Grüm soaked to our skins. Still, we’ve started out on our adventure, spirits are high and we’re optimistic that the rest of the trip will be sunnier.

Being photographers, we set off before dawn to capture the beautiful early morning light on the dramatic scenery. The long descent towards Poschiavo is perfect for both photos and fun. The trails to the bottom of the valley are fast and if the hot chocolate at breakfast hadn’t woken us up the adrenaline certainly did!

We cross the historic railway lines of the Räthische Bahn multiple times, making sure to avoid an encounter with one of the iconic red trains that criss-cross Switzerland. The next leg of our journey sees us catching a bus as we head to Bernina Ospizio.

It’s at this point we have to start earning back the altitude we lost in the morning. With great views, and even better company, there’s no complaints as we winch our way back up the mountain towards the Italian border and Livigno.

After fuelling up on primo pasta in bella Italia we head for the Chaschaunapass. What follows is a (hell of a) steep grueling gravel road to the summit of this impressive mountain. It’s worth it though. The landscape extends before us, looking almost lunar-like. The afternoon light just makes it even more jaw-dropping. We enjoy the scene for a moment before scrabbling for our cameras…

We reach the Varusch hut at dusk. Rumbling stomachs are treated to hearty meals and with no electricity, let alone wifi, we feel we can truly disconnect from everyday life.

The third day takes us alongside incredible turquoise mountain lakes. Rocky, technical paths test our concentration and skills, high-speed sections keep the buzz going. We’re grinning ear to ear the whole way.

The day gets away from us and we roll into the town of Bergün in the early evening still with plenty of distance yet to go. We get a shuttle to the Albulapass before climbing the final 400 meters to the Chamanna d’Es-Cha hut.

When we arrive the place is bustling with people of all nationalities who are all just stoked to be together in this amazing place. The food is incredible and, with the ski camp atmosphere, we talk ourselves to sleep.

We wake up feeling slightly melancholic as we head towards the end of the tour. We make the most of the final downhill ride back down to Celerina, where our hut hunt began.

After 166 kilometers, 4,700 meters of elevation gain, 13 hours in the saddle and countless mind-blowing trails through some of Switzerland's most outstanding scenery it’s safe to say we had definitely had a properly big ride and a properly big adventure in the Home of Trails, Graubünden.

Fancy going on your own hut hunt? Check out Tourism Graubünden to plan your own Swiss mountain adventure.

What Bike for Big Mountain Days?

Dominique’s 4060 ST is the perfect partner for any Alpine exploration mission.
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