Take the gondola up and enjoy the spectacular view of the surrounding mountain groups: the Geisler and Stevia groups directly in front of you to the east, the Sella group to the southwest, and the Langkofel group to the south. On a clear day, you can see the glacier-covered Marmolada peak 25 km (15 miles) to the southeast. Then enjoy the long but quick descent to Ortisei.
From Ortisei, take the Ortisei-Furnes and Furnes-Seceda lifts to the start of this ride. You can purchase a day ticket (EUR 46, 2018 price, bike transport included) that is good at all the local lifts. Alternatively, you can purchase individual tickets for just these two lifts at a lower price.
Make sure your brakes work well before embarking on this ride. It's easy to pick up speed in the first half of the ride, and some of the trails in this section are gravel so it will be easy to lose traction and crash.
There is a dense network of criss-crossing trails up and down the mountain and signs are not present at every intersection, so having a GPX or the MTB Project mobile app
will be helpful, although generally pointing down will get you where you need to go.
This is an easy ride that will allow you to appreciate the surrounding peaks. After enjoying the view from the top, head out on the narrow Seceda - Pieralongia (2B)
singletrack toward the Rifugio Pieralongia (mountain hut) in case you need sustenance after the long gondola ride up.
From the rifugio, you pick up the "main" gravel road, Col Raiser (4A)
, that leads up to the mountain huts. Follow this to the 8-km (5-mile) mark where you'll cross the Cislerbach stream just after you cross under the lift line. At the top of the Col Raiser lift, the main gravel road continues as Odles - Rifugio Firenze (4)
and then at Rifugio Firenze, you should follow Rifugio Firenze - Trans Tirol (1)
Just after you cross under the lift line, veer to the right onto the Cisles Connector (1B)
. This takes you to the Strada Plesdinaz
, which passes by some alpine farms as well as a small village.
At the end of the Strada Plesdinaz
, the route becomes the Sankt Jakob Kirche (32)
. This takes you to the quaint Saint Jacob's Church where a clearing offers an excellent view of the Langkofel Massif.
After the church begins the most difficult part of the route as the Sankt Jakob - Val d'Anna (6)
singletrack passes through a dense forest including a set of switchbacks along a steep descent until you reach the Strada val'Anna
. The Strada val'Anna
is a paved road that will take you back to the lower station for the Ortisei lift and the center of Ortisei.
For those who really, really like climbing, the Strada val'Anna
heads up the mountain towards the Furnes midpoint station. There are also variants that climb all the way from Ortisei along forest roads.