The results for the day does not look so impressive, but this was a tough day indeed! Figures often does not tell the story too well. Could not resist stopping just after leaving the hotel at Flumserberg Tannenbodenalp in the morning for a last photo of the nice Churfirsten ridge. It was a nice and sweet descent in the morning, but already on the way down I realised it was going to be a hot day.
I stopped in Bad Ragaz for coca-cola and a blueberry yoghurt (works well together and one can pour some cola in the yoghurt to make it easy to get out without a spoon). Stopped later again at a big Coop in Chur/Coira (591m) for juice and coca-cola as one did not need to eat much on this warm day.
So, then just to get going up the long road toward Arosa. I found the shortest road up through Chur and it is a fairly consistent climb all the way to Castiel. I stopped at the Restaurant Pasunna in Castiel and had something to drink. I just needed some refreshments before taking on the final climb, not to Arosa (that would be simple), but to Pagiger Bleis (2135m). Nice place and lady here at Pasunna. Photo of my Radler sitting outside by a little table at the entrance.
I have long seen the climb to Pagiger Bleis at quaeldich.de and think I noticed the road even before they had it up on their site. Someone there commented that I ought to try it and now finally I was indeed going there. The guy who did the write-up for qualdich has contributed a lot there and he has a certain kind of way to put things. So he was sorry he could not do the last ramp of the climb because of the snow when he was there, though few would have made it at all in any conditions with normal gears on the road bikes as it is above 25% and on narrow concrete strips for the wheels of cars. I just about made an earlier ramp and started out on this, but got worried and decided it was better to safely walk the steepest section then there were just a few metres more to cycle though. Here at the sign.
It was very hot and have to admit I did a short stop earlier also because I felt a little worried over my heart, but then continued. A little sad I did not cycle every metre, but it is almost only the last little ramp that is a bit too much for most and it is still certainly a nice climb and it is also the highest paved climb anywhere near in all of the Arosa area, which is why it is interesting. There are some resting between Castiel and St. Peter. I tried to climb the very first road up, but there is a steep ramp with gravel there and it looked a bit too bad to try so took the normal road up a bit closer to St. Peter. (I now see I likely could have taken another earlier road up even if a private road, but not much difference to the normal road.) The road could have climbed even higher here and would likely be easier then (only a track to the houses here).
I had big problems editing the photos here as they need to be increased in lightness almost 500% to get close to reality. It was much more light and sunny than what you can glance from the photos here even if brightened at least 100%. Guess it is situations like this where you would have wanted something better than an iPhone camera, but cannot carry a lot of stuff around. Wished I had someone following documenting it all, but at least I have more freedom this way. The very end of the concrete strips are nice and easy, but it is 25% and more just where they disappear here.
Another photo of the houses toward Chur.
And another photo with the bike and where I ended and turned around.
A photo back toward Chur and you see a mini-pass below that one could make a more direct climb to (with less resting from Chur) from Castiel up to Lafet (1850m).
Looking down the road and the valley corner on the way to Arosa.
This is a good photo explaining the problem with this climb. The first ramp ahead you see here I made, but the second highest up was even steeper and longer. It is like a road going to heaven and no house in sight here or anything.
Further down while still worryingly easy.
Looking up a last time while I could see the high, but green, mountains above clearly.
Down below Triemel (1850m) on the ordinary road up there and the views up the valley from there.
Some woods here obscuring the view down to Chur, but one would not quite see down there anyway.
I was quickly down in Chur and stopped at a Denner in the heat for a coca-cola and ice cream. It had been 30°C already at 2000m on the way back and down here it was around 36-37 (at least in the sun). Then just took the normal road out of the city to the west through Domat/Ems to Reichenau and the bridges there. I stopped talking briefly with another older cyclist also stopping to fill up water. Guess this is a popular point where long-distance tourers in the mountains bounce into each others. I then continued up to Bonaduz and to Rhäzüns/Razén where I stopped for another radler. The old man came by and apparently they helped him with b&b lodging here and I said I might be interested also, but I was not about to stop cycling yet for the day. I could possibly have stayed there and left some stuff and gotten back, but it is hard to tell what will happen sometimes.
The road up to Thusis then descends a little to an obscure crossing of the Hinterrhein/Rein Posteriur river on a bridge to Rothenbrunnen/Giuvaulta (617m) which is not an allowed way for car traffic. Here starts the second climb for the day and this was much harder (except those very steep ramps near the end at Pagiger Bleis). It was less hot now though.
I started out the right way, but at first missed the short-cut road to Tumegl/Tomils, but soon figured it out and went back to go up the shortest way as planned. This road to Tumegl/Tomils is up at around 20%, but doable and nice. I stopped again in the village to double-check that I indeed was taking the old road up as planned. Just after the Davos Baselgia the road is not allowed to general motor traffic and the road turn to gravel (as expected). But the road is flat and even slightly down to the tunnel at the end of the valley seen here. Just after the tunnel the rest of the climb starts at first on gravel, but mostly fine.
Eventually some concrete or asphalt pavement comes back and the road is lovely, but there were still more gravel and it got harder and steeper, but I got to the end of gravel. Then the remainder of the road is paved, mostly concrete pavement as I remember and it is steeper still now so it is not much easier than the gravel before.
Slightly exhausted I stopped for a rain shower when I arrived at several houses along the road (Aclas). This place had a handy roof to hide under. It soon stopped raining again fortunately, but better to stop when one has a good place to stop at if it had gotten even worse.
The view ahead looked impressive and fairly steep for all I could see. It is a very well-built road and it is maybe a bit of a pity it is not all paved as it would be easier for road cyclists to decide and take this way up then. It is much, much nicer than the normal/newer road up.
Once up on the main road I followed my plan to take the shortest way up, which was to use the (I guess) old road up through Scheid/Sched after just a few metres and then after a few metres up through Purz (all is paved). A much nicer way to go up than the main road, but the main road is much better to use on the way down of course. Once again out on the main road that road also starts to get quite steep all the way to Plazza (1499m), which is another unnamed (but obvious) pass.
Here at Plazza watching down at Feldis/Veulden on the other side and where I would end up for the night eventually. It is shortly flat here, but the climb continues up here on a side road to my final destination Alp dil Plaun (1966m).
There were some road choices on the way up and had to check the map at one place where one sort of takes off the road onto another one among some houses. The road is concrete and slightly wobbly at the end, but all fine. Unfortunately the rain came back on the last section and it did not make the finish more nice and easy and was slightly worried about traction on the concrete that could get slippery in rain, but it was all fine. Luckily the restaurant at Alp dil Plaun was open so could sit under some kind of roof there and dry up a bit while having something more to drink. Nice views from the top, but you see the rainbow here also.
Here looking up in the direction of Thusis.
On the way back you can see a sign of some sun coming in and the rain had definitely stopped now.
I started out down the road, but stopped just below at the pass up here to take a photo of the sign there and see if it said something else than the map, but no sign of a proper pass name there either. The pass itself might be like 500m in a path here, but it is only a few metres higher, so practically you are the pass here (at 1957m).
Now a man came down who also was at the restaurant (with many others) and asked if I wanted to get a ride down to the hotel in Feldis/Veulden that he apparently had something to do with. I thought maybe it was just as well, but could really have gone down there decently quickly on the bike myself. Mostly accepted his offer to be nice and since I thought it was enough with cycling anyway this day. I had otherwise thought of a hotel down the valley a bit in the direction of Thusis that I had looked up and that should be cheaper.
It was not so cheap up here as I knew beforehand, but the views were great as you can see here. Also placed my bike a bit carelessly so it fell and got another scratch on the frame and also the people at the hotel were not very friendly, so regretted a bit in the evening that I followed the man down here. Still nice to sleep up the mountains and the people in the hotel were much nicer at breakfast. The girl I talked to there complained that she was not so good on German, to my surprise (and English was not an option) :-).
The view in the evening form the restaurant. There is a cable car here down to Rhäzüns/Razén where I thought about staying also.
My rant in the evening + added comment on the breakfast in the morning on Facebook [guess I was mostly just irritated over my careless parking of the bike]: “Most expensive lodging thus far. No big deal and all fine, with great views, but still one wonders: all looks nicely modern; the owner arrives looking not happy at all (after no one could find him at first) – noticing on the second check of the bike that it had fallen and was a little angry over it and explained it (and he saw me picking it up), but he wonders if something is wrong with the hotel and mumbles something showing me hastily the rooms and disappears. Some guys in the restaurant gets annoyed that I was not greeting them (had other things on my mind, but later greeted them again just to be sure). The girl (probably family) seemed much nicer, but explained that she did not understand much German – eh, did I get that right, well apparently and she only understood a few words in English (likely no French or Italian either). Ok it went fine anyway. Got something to eat on a very hot plate (good, but no warning). Got some lemonade as that was cheapest if wanting a litre, that was served at room temperature. Her mother appeared and seemed nice but did not say much. I asked where I could park the bike and eventually we agreed it could just be left outside (I then parked it in the entrance and it seemed ok too). Nice with hangers in the room that you could move even if new (one of the most important things if a hotel could be said to be good), but funny steel hangers that sounded like church bells never stopping … oh well. (In short I prefer older type hotels, small, with people who have been around for a while.) But mostly an ok place. (We’ll see if they have more oddities in store for breakfast ...) – No wi-fi. But ok breakfast.”