I had a light breakfast at the grocery in Savognin (1206m), then thought about visiting also a café, but decided to get going instead. The climb up the Julierpass then goes in stages. First a little climbing up to Rona (1410m), then flat for a while before the climb up to Lai da Marmorera (1684m) and then flat until after the lake. Then the climb is more consistent up through Bivio (1769m) (where a possible gravel road would take one to the famous Septimerpass/Pass da Sett (2310m), but also this time I refrained from going up there.
From Bivio the climb is classic high Alps pass style and it got a little tiresome toward the end, but it is not a very hard pass. Julierpass/Pass dal Güglia/Passo del Giulia (2284m) is the lowest of the three parallel tarmaced pass roads up to the Engadin valley from the north. (The others to the east are: (2312m) and Flüelapass/Pass dal Flüela (2383m), where the middle Albula pass is the hardest of the climbs and also the most interesting.)
I met the warmth coming in on the climb in a nice and almost calculated way that made me have a very even and good temperature for the first part of the day. After a quick descent to Silvaplana where I was determined to find a café and finally found that the bakery in the centre had one table that two motorcyclists just left I went there. First went into the grocery but got irritated over something there and anyway wanted to have a coffee now. (Could not find any other café around here, but I aslo did not ask.)
Here is a photo looking in the direction of St. Moritz.
Then I had a nice ride along the lakes and especially through St. Moritz (where the road is usually pretty busy, but things went fine this day). I had thought to visit a +2000m asphalted road above St. Moritz, but that did not seem too interesting, so I continued to the Pontresina roundabout (1728m).
From there I once again climbed up the north side of Passo del Bernina/Berninapass/Pass dal Bernina (2329m) (I still have the rather hard south side to climb one day). I stopped for water on the way up and once again at the railway crossing to take a photo of the Bernina mountain that I this time managed to catch without any clouds.
I passed by a slow cyclist on the way to the top, but was passed by just before the top by a quicker guy that I had not spotted beforehand, so had no chance there. I stopped for several photos as the weather was so unusually good this day.
In the first and the second photo we look toward Livigno and the south side of the pass.
This is taken toward the west and behind and below the little mountain there the Bernina train goes down over a different crossing up here that apparently has no separate pass name and is a little lower (Piano di/Plan dal Cambrena (2243m)), but it is still the highest (2253m) railway crossing in the Alps.
Here I look back down toward Pontresina.
The first part of the descent to the north is great and it is a very fast descent down to San Carlo (1093m). One has to be a little careful here, but the road was okay this time and I went away from a lorry and then had the road very much for myself down there. The lorry did not catch up with me even though I stopped and filled up with water in San Carlo. From there on it takes a while before the descent really starts again as it does down the south side of the Lago di Poschiavo.
From there on I could no longer escape the obvious heat that rthere would be at lower altitude this day. I stopped before the border to see if I could buy another Swiss knife of the same sort I bought there once before, but that shop had closed and the other shop did not have so many models (at least not the one I wanted, but there are hundred variants of them).
Now I crossed my own way for the first time and stopped in Tirano at the café I wanted to stop at the last time, but which was then closed. Now the Pasticceria Tognolini was open and I had an ice cream and caffe doppio. Apparently my acquaintance in Tirano know the owners and it is a good café, but I got a little irritated that they wanted to try and speak German first with me, but guess they are used to many German speaking people coming by here.
From Tirano (436m) I straight south, which means climbing via Cologna and Trivigno to Monte Padrio (1867m). From Alp di Cabrella (above 1500m) one have a few places where one could get a good view down over Tirano and up the Berninapass road and even Lago di Poschiavo is visible up the valley.
Here is the place from where one see furthest up the Val Poschiavo.
The climb through Cologna is hard, but not as hard as several of the other climbs in the area. Valtellina might have the highest number of really hard climbs in all of the Alps. But it still ranks among the hardest if climbed all the way. It is somewhat regularly steep and for a while from Alp di Cabrella to the Trivigno turn-off the road only climbs very gently.
The above photo and the one here are taken at the top of the Monte Padrio climb (or some metres before as it was easier to park my bicycle here). After the top (from this southern direction) one enters the woods and soon come to the turn-off for the road down to Lombro, which is quite a steep one.
I was a bit curious about the Passo del Picco (1870m) pass to see if I could find any indication of the pass as the pass comes across as one of the more dubious ones listed in my High Alps pass list. Italians are not as good on posting signs for all passes as the French are (but we have seen that even the French occasionally have forgotten to name and put up signs for passes). So no sign here. The only pass up here that people think of is the Passo di Guspessa (1824m) which one could only descend to from both side with a road bike, but on this side one descends just from Passo del Picco, where a path is actually/optionally going down a different valley from the Guspessa pass, so there is some legitimacy to this obscure pass. It was a bit up there even though it seemed like very near from my memory of having been there before.
Then I went back and down the road to Lombro that I climbed in 2006 with my friend Ola at the start of the tour that Summer. There is a sign for 25% at the steepest ramp, but it is not really more than 20%, but the steepness combined with the very irregular steepness makes for a quite hard climb up on the side.
Down in Edolo (688m) I stopped by a grocery again for a final little meal before the end of the day. I had planned to climb up to Mola/Pianazzi (Baita Mola) (1694m) here, but I was a bit undecided now. But as I could not really hope to do any other climb this day and the day was not yet over, I decided to do this climb and it is also an asphalted climb to pass, even if also lacks a proper pass name. This is also one of the hardest climbs down here with over 10% on average for over 1000m up. Moreover the asphalt turned out to be quite bad lower down.
I had memorised the climb as ending somewhere over 1530m, so was it felt quite long as the pass location is at 1694m. There is also a light descent before the final climb. However it was lovely up at Mola.
After the pass one can continue higher up the mountain. There is a crossroad, where one road goes toward the Passo di Guspessa, but soon will become a gravel road and perhaps only a track. However, straight ahead a concrete road climb up more steeply than ever and few likely would be foolish enough try and get up here. I gave up after a while as it seemed to only get steeper and rougher and it would anyway only go to the Baite di Mola (1835m) (not sure if it is all concrete and rideable). I stopped for the photo above, beside and below here at ca. 1735m.
The views really improved by taking the effort to climb a bit up this concrete road and I was happy to get these photo giving better justice to the climb.
Here is the pass by a chapel. Very nice road apart from the terrible steepness and quality a bit above Edolo.
Here a last photo over the Edolo area before getting down to the really steep part of the climb.
I really did not want to stay in Edolo so I went down the Val Camonica to Malonno, where I went into the centre to ask for a place to stay at and a nice local younger man showed me the way to a very good bed & breakfast higher up in the village (the third best for this trip, but still quite good). They also had a pub there. One could start on the climb up to the beautiful Passo del Vivione in Malonno, but I was going down to Breno in the morning.