THE LOOP ROUTE OF SAN MICHELE DI PRAZZO/ELVA -BC
Good, after a rich breakfast you are ready to head out. No cars! You leave directly from here on your MTB.
Leave the Marmotte Hotel and head towards the valley along the dirt track that from the hamlet of Frere drops along the right side of the Maira stream to the hamlet of Maddalena
Here you need to turn onto the pavement to Prazzo Inferiore where, right before the houses of the town, you should turn left toward San Michele di Prazzo. Ride on the paved road until you reach the hamlets Allemandi, Falco and Ferreri, where you will find the yellow markings of the Occitan Path (P.O.). Follow them uphill staying on the right, along the dirt road that climbs to Colle di San Michele (1935 m).
You have arrived at the panoramic destination! A bit of effort but it was worth it, right?
Time for photos! Snap away and share with our hashtag:
#albergolemarmotte #vallemairabikeexperience #mairavigliosa
Start the descent on the other side and, following the yellow markings, reach the Valley of Old Gias and arrive at the hamlets of Superior and Inferior Chiosso (1530 m). Take the paved road (P.O.-GTA) which takes you to the hamlet of Serre (1637 m).
From here follow the signs to the hamlet of Mattalia and then off road you reach the Colle of San Giovanni (1875 m). Keep following the single-track with up-and-downs (P.O. ‘s yellow stripes) and reach Colle Bettone (1831 m) and then down to the hamlet of San Martino. Cross the Upper Township and go down to the San Martino Inferior following the path that reaches Grange Vignale. Right after the Gr. Vignale, you will find the paved main road that you can follow backward to Frere.
You have returned to the Marmotte Hotel. Today’s excursion is over. Good Job!
Now you can enjoy a well deserved rest in the garden, sipping a nice cold beer!
The routes usually start in high alpine environments and at a high altitude which are subject to rapid climatic change. You need clothing which allows you to adjust for these changes.
Before you leave, be sure to check that you have (either by wearing or carrying a pack) these three basic items:
- UNDERWEAR LAYER: The layer against the skin must allow for air circulation, and must wick moisture away from the body quickly.
- MIDDLE LAYER: The second layer must provide insulation while also allowing moisture to escape.
- OUTER LAYER: The outermost layer must provide protection from the elements such as wind and rain, while still allowing the body to breath and moisture to escape.
While some people consider helmets annoying and ugly, they without a doubt are essential.
Before leaving, be sure to adjust the helmet for total enjoyment.
They are very useful for protecting your eyes from the atmospheric elements.
It is important that they firmly enclose your face so you never need to remove your hands from the ski equipment.
The very best lenses are photochromic: designed to adapt to different kind of lights.
Using gloves is a very good habit because they ensure correct grips on equipment and the cushioning in the palms absorbs vibrations for a more pleasant run.
These basic items will limit injury in the case of a fall.
Short ones or long ones… are personal choices.
One or more of these should be filled before setting out.
Always check a map for water points along your path.
When choosing a backpack lightness and comfort are especially important. The backpack, in addition to carrying things, must also provide optimal distribution of the weight of items .
Before setting out, adjust all the straps and tension bands.
The ideal backpack for a day of MTB should have a capacity of 25-30L with a series of useful pockets to separate the following:
– clothing (wind-breaker, undershirt, long gloves, batteries, sun creams, etc.)
– food (energy bars, fruit, supplements, etc.)
– First Aid Kit (gauze, bandages, scissors, gloves, disinfectant, cotton bandage roll, thermal towel,etc..
– Accessories or emergency mechanical parts air chambers, cans, brake wire, adhesive tape, multi-purpose key, beagle levers, pliers, pump …)
–Various accessories (topographical maps, multi-function knife, GPS, head lamp, cellphone, camera, etc.)
During an excursion, it is advisable to have a working cell phone with you (even if turned off) with a fully charged battery.
The number to call in case of an emergency is “112”.
Emergency services might need to arrive by helicopter; in this case:
- Find a clear landing area.
- If possible, signal your position to the pilot by waving your arms.
- Make sure the injured part is in an area clear of debris or material that could be shifted by the helicopter.
The courses are open to everyone, and much appreciated by trekkers.
– It is good practice to moderate your speed for others, and to free the passage to people on foot going in the opposite direction.
-Also, crossing alpine pastures requires caution. Dogs protecting flocks of sheep can be aggressive if you do not get off the bike or if you come too close to the sheep.