On the road with Marina
Bike tour through the Val d'Uina
The Uina Gorge. The rocky path, which used to serve as a smuggler's path and connecting route between the Lower Engadine and the Vinschgau, is now a highlight for all hikers and mountain bikers. «I want to see that», I thought to myself and put the bike tour at the top of my «bucket list». Rightly so, as it turned out later.
From Scuol we cycle leisurely to Sur En, where the path is still flat and our pulse is still in the normal range. The route curves along the Inn, past Pradella to the Val d'Uina country inn. From there on the view narrows, at the beginning of the valley it is still cool and shady. Later we would still long for these conditions, as we have a hot summer day ahead of us. What you should know: the tour runs with a permanent incline. So we already concentrate a little on our breathing, which is not so easy with the impressive landscape around us.
It is quiet, only the mountain stream accompanies us with its gentle roar. Past scree, through short forest sections and over bridges, we cover the first kilometres to the alp «Uina Dadaint». We have now been walking for about two hours and decide to take a short break. The managed alp with fresh products such as drinking yoghurt, Engadine pear bread and cheese is of course all the more inviting. Strengthened and full of anticipation for the section ahead, we continue – and very soon stop again, speechless by the sight before us. The mountain massif towers up in front of us, into which the rock path was blasted more than 100 years ago.
The path goes through an alpine meadow further and further into the valley and gradually becomes a narrow trail, which at first still resembles a rooty forest path. Before we reach the rocky path, we come across several warning signs. They recommend pushing the bike on the tricky sections. Since I still have a lot to do in my life, I stick to it. The closer we get to the rocky path, the rockier the trail becomes, until we decide: «Time to push the bike». Concentration is definitely needed on this section. You can quickly lose yourself in the sight of the deep gorge. Again and again, the path leads through the rocks like a tunnel.
The atmosphere in the gorge is extraordinary. The narrower the gorge becomes, the louder the mountain stream roars. And yet it seems so quiet here, far away from civilisation. If you want to escape from everyday life for once, this is definitely the right place.
Even though it seems different to us for a while, the rocky path is also Final and we reach a clearing – Alp Sursass. From here we continue straight on over the Schlinig Pass until we finally arrive at the Sesvenna Hut. After the longer stage through the narrow gorge, the view from here seems even more expansive than it otherwise already is. The hut is in Vinschgau (IT), which is immediately apparent from the dialect of the hut warden. The friendly team at the Sesvenna hut provides us with food and drink, much needed after this day. As if the adventure through the gorge were not enough, the panorama rewards us once again for the climb up to here. Surrounded by cows, marmots and a little further away even ibexes, we enjoy the hut's fine house grappa as the sun slowly sets.
Marina Gachnang will complete her internship at the Engadin Samnaun Val Müstair holiday region in 2020/21 and will work at the guest information desk and in the content team at the Scuol location. In her free time, she loves to explore the Engadine on her mountain bike.