Sella Ronda MTB, Dolomites, Italy


The Sella Ronda is the tour around the impressive Sella massif, either on skis in winter time or on the bike in summertime.  The Sella Ronda Hero is known as the hardest mountain bike race in Europe with about 4500 meters of climbing and a length of 86 km.  I didn’t want to become a hero there, so I bought the Dolomiti Superski Pass that let me use lots of lifts and cable cars and allowed for loads of fun without the hardship.  I still had to climb for about 1000 meters myself to complete my loop around the Sella after 63 km including 4100 meters of descent mainly on trails.

I loved the variety of trails from purpose built to all-natural and from easy flow to gnarly steep and rugged.  The runs of the Fassa Bikepark can be easily integrated into the Sella Ronda and provide some extra fun or adrenaline particularly on those lines down to Canazei, e.g. the Northshore.  Altogether, an outstanding bike adventure with breathtaking views, a great variety of trails and epic fun.

Carezza. Mountain Biking The Dolomites, Italy

Carezza WallRide

The Dolomites feature the most dramatic mountain range in the Alps.  That’s why I’ve been there a couple of times for work attending photo shootings.  The bizarre rock formations and the via ferratas  – often a remainder from World War I – make the Dolomites the classic hiking and climbing destination on the Southern side of the Alps.  Of course, this is as well a great area for mountain biking and you can even combine biking and climbing.

The legendary rides in the Dolomites tend to circumnavigate a mountain range.  The Sella Ronda is perhaps the most popular tour as you can do it on a road bike, on a mountain bike and in winter on skis.  I did the tour around the Latemar with an total elevation gain of about 2.900 meters and total distance of 56 km/35 miles.  With the usage of 3 lifts, the ride wasn’t that tough, though.

The trails are a mix of single track, dual track, gravel roads and small portion of paved road.  Some steep, root strewn, challenging sections, blended with easy trails and forest roads make the Latemar circumnavigation a great, scenic ride that can be varied for different skill levels.

On the Latemar Tour you would use the new Carezza cable car to avoid most of the gnarly climb up the Catinaccio (Rosegarden) Range to the Carezza Pass.  However, going down the freshly built Carezza Flow Trail is so much fun that you want to use the Carezza lift multiple times.

What a blessing that our hotel in Welschnofen was directly located on the mountain and literally on the Carezza Flow Trail.  So, all those berms, jumps and wall rides – that offer great downhill fun even for novices – became a sort of daily routine to me for one week.

According to the legend the rocky walls of the Rosegarden are King Laurin’s sunken kingdom.  Noble trails, I’d like to say…