27/09/2013 | 3 comments
Place: Davos-Klosters, Graubunden
Number of trails: Unknown – 1300km+ of singletrails!
Riding style: Singletrack, some bike park trails
Opening Times: Early May – late October
Title photo by Martin Bissig for our Scott Genius LT launch feature
At 1560m, Davos Is the highest city in Europe, nestled deep in the mountains of the Graubunden canton of Switzerland. With a population of nearly 12000, it’s pretty busy compared to your average summer ski resort.
Claims to fame include construction of the first ever T-Bar ski lift in the world, invented by a local Engineer from Zurich in 1934. More recently the World Economic Forum and also well-publicised ski holidays for some of our wonderful British Royals.
Although relatively unheard of for the British (do we know anywhere except Morzine?) for its mountain biking, the area has gained popularity in German-speaking and Eastern areas of Europe for its amazing network of singletrails and the famous ‘Bahnentour’
Locals have been riding here since the 80s on the hiking trails. Nowadays all the lifts are open to mountain bikes thanks to the ‘Share the Trails’ code, which grants bikers equal rights with hikers.
Many of the hiking trails are being rebuilt by the local trail crews to make them more fun and usable for bikes. I found there was a great mix of flowing: sculpted singles, many rougher trails that held a Chamonix-esque (that means steep and very technical) feel and loose, high alpine goat tracks.
Also there is the ‘Gotschna’ freeride trail, which is a machine built huck-fest tribute to Whistler’s A-line jump trail, above the village of Klosters.
The Bahnentour is the ride that brings something unique to Davos though. A full day of riding which utilises all of the cable-cars and tramway, taking in some of the best trails in the area and a staggering total of 10,000m of descent in one day. Local guide Tommi, who was showing me around while on the Scott Genius launch, says only 20% of riders who attempt it manage to complete the gruelling tour in one day.
The recommended bike for the majority of riding here would be a 130mm-160mm suspension enduro bike with big disc rotors!
We stayed at the Ochsen hotel in a central location in Davos, just one of a network of ‘Bike Hotels’ in the area.
On top of the usual hotel services, the Bike Hotels offer discounted lift passes, secure bike storage, bike maintenance/cleaning areas, but most importantly a laundry service for muddy bike clothes!
Prices vary during the season, around 60CHF p/p p/n in August
Train: Zurich – Davos 2hr 15mins
Flights: Zurich then take the train, shuttle bus or taxi. 1hr 45mins by rental car
Car: London – Davos 12 hours