“An easy doubletrack gives way to a challenging singletrack through the serene high alpine Val Piora (Piora Valley).”
— Lost Justpastnowhere
Although aerobically difficult, particularly if you have climbed some or all of the way to Lago Ritom first, the route is not particularly technical and the chance to ride singletrack through this scenery makes this one of the highlights of the Gotthardpass Section II
This segment begins as a deceptively easy doubletrack around the northern shore of Lago Ritom (Lake), which you'll appreciate after the climb up to the lake. At the far end of Lago Ritom, the doubletrack begins a gentle climb to another lake, Lago Cadagno. Shortly after passing this lake, there are two Rifugi (mountain huts) that offer food and drink at around the three-mile mark. After these two huts, the climb becomes more difficult and the doubletrack becomes fainter eventually turning to singletrack.
At mile five, there is a particularly unpleasant half-mile climb at 10% grade. But this takes you to the high point for this trail, which is also the high point for the Gotthardpass Section II
and the entire Gotthardpass route. From this point, it's another half mile (downhill or flat) on mostly rocky singletrack to reach the Passo dell'Uomo.
Between Lago Cadagno and the Passo dell'Uomo (Pass of Man)
, you'll have babbling (or possibly torrential in early spring) creeks and waterfalls to keep your attention and of course you're nestled among high alpine peaks throughout this ride.