Albulapass

 

 

 

February 15th 2013

 

 

 

Alpentops.de - TOP Alpen-Sites

 

Switzerland

Albulapass

period opened

altitude

from - to

distance

GPS - coordinates

June - October

2.315m

Surava - La Punt Chamues

41km

N 46°35´00”    E 009°50´16”

7.596ft

25.5mls

detailed pass road map  detailed pass road map

picture collection  picture collection

 

Googlemaps pass road map  Google Maps map

Panorama View Albulapass summit

The above shown panorama picture can be loaded as a self rotating picture file by clicking on it

The Albula pass road, built in 1865, connects the capital of Grisons Chur with the village La Punt in the Engadine. Since 1903 also a train connects both valleys at 1.823m height through a 5.9km long tunnel. The former customs border house is located in Guardaval, where all the passengers have been checked in earlier days. If you ride from Thusis in direction to Davos and you have already left Tiefencastel behind you, the Albula pass road starts with a right turn off after the railway crossing of the Rhaetian Railway. In light curves, always following the railway, the pass is slowly gaining altitude in the lower section. The Rhaetian Railway crosses often the road on imposing stone viaducts on the way up to the pass until the road disappears into a small forest. Here the road is much narrower and more curved. The path then leads through the nature reserve of the Piz Palpuogna (2.730m), where the area becomes more rocky and barren.

Albula summitThe northern part is the most beautiful part of the Albula pass road. In the lower part until you reach the village Berguen the road is built very well and follows the course of the Albula river. Two miles before you reach Berguen the road climbs up on the right along a cliff with several serpentines to reach the height of Berguen where a fantastic view opens up to the Albula canyon. From Berguen on the road is no longer a beautiful road related to surface and quality. Narrow, with poor road surface, the road winds underneath the Albula railway viaducts upwards to the pass summit. During winter time the road is closed from Berguen on and is used as a open air bob sledge. The Swiss word is “Schlitteln”. With the Rhaetian Railway you travel from Berguen all the way up to Preda, which is a small station just in front of the tunnel. There you can rent various types of sleds with which you then can speed down the pass road all the way back to Berguen train station.

Reaching the top, the view opens onto a small plateau with a small lake. The hospice is well equipped and the small gift shop next door invites you to browse. A longer pause is worthwhile, especially if you own a Binoculars. In summer you can watch comfortable from the hospice marmots and lots of alpine animals easily . We recommend this together with a Cappucino which is served directly on the small sun deck aside the pass road.

However, if you plan to stop by and sit inside the hospice, we recommend to check the weather frequently. We have had already the big surprise when riding in July back across the Albula pass during evening time and having dinner in the hospice, that when we wanted to continue after an hour it had snowed a few inches. But do not panic. The landlord then calls up a piggy back in the form of a tow from the Touring Club Switzera. Except you would like to stay up, then just book a room for one night.

From up here the road swings in wide curves down to the Engadine valley. Also here the route is marked by many frost heaves. At the end of the Val d'Alvra plateau the pass road again continues with a curved part with enough serpentines that lead you down to the valley. The pass road then ends in a small village named La Punt-Chamues directly after the railway crossing. The road itself is on the northern flank in a moderate condition. Since the street here is barely wider than 3m, we highly recommend to ride carefully. The road on the southern flank is wider, clearer and in a somewhat better condition.

Recommended regional links about Albulapass