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Length: 7,4 km
Altitude metres: 657 altitude metres
Ascent: Gaislachkogel mountain railway
Recommended bike: Enduro, all mountain
Biking technique: ●●●●○
Biking fun: ●●●●●
A beautiful enduro tour with plenty of views can be created by combining the natural Bartiges Bödele Trail (676), Rettenbach Trail (675) and Leiterberg Trail (672). The Sölden Bike Republic is aiming to become the Whistler of Europe. For anyone who doesn’t know anything about the Whistler Mountain: this mountain is the world-wide fixed point of all enduro, downhill and trail bikers in a huge nature trail and bike park in the north of Vancouver, Canada. Sölden has a brave vision and progresses very quickly; the programme is incredibly diverse, well thought through and sophisticated. Thumbs up!
From the intermediate terminus of the Gaislachkogelbahn gondola lift, we roll a small segment downhill on the forest path and turn left onto the Bartiges Bödele Trail. As this trail is a “shared trail“, which is very popular with hikers and bikers alike, mutual consideration is required. Even though the route is classified as easy, boredom has no chance here.
A good line selection across the many roots and stones is of advantage. We follow the slightly uphill and then downhill trail, which meanders along the slope and is lined with small mountain pine trees, alpenroses and blueberry bushes, to the pass road. From there, it is only a few altitude metres to the Rettenbachalm and the view to the glacier lets you quickly forget the climb.
The sunny terrace invites to stay a while; thus, we stop for a small lunch break. Refreshed by tasty food, we continue our ride and, behind the hut, turn onto the Rettenbachtrail with is abundance of views. Grinning from ear to ear, we race along the clearly visible and flowy panorama trail until we reach Hochsölden. Here we stay on the road until we arrive at a sharp right turn where the Leiterbergtrail turns to the left.
Two bends welcome us at the entrance and then we ride into the forest. The ground is often wet and it gets much steeper here. We continue along the mountain ridge across meadows, past alpine huts, before we cross a small stream and the typical vegetation with berries, hedges and colourful flowers lines the trail again. Now we enjoy a beautiful panoramic view for a while.
The quaint Leiteralm is reached soon afterwards. If you are not in a hurry, then stop for a short break. The following final trail segment has been created especially for bikers and is surely the most technically challenging part.
The diverse and in part steep terrain awaits with roots, terraces, and stones and one or the other narrow bend. But as the trail crosses the forest road several times (six times in total), you can easily bypass these sections. The last part of the tour is more relaxed again - we ride along the slope in direction Leite. Although there are some very short uphill passages before we return to our starting point in Sölden.