Team Snook Cycling spent a few days in Bormio, including a night in the motorhome at the top of the famous Stelvio Pass!
We drove up from Prato allo Stelvio, navigating the 48 hair pins included on the 24km ascent to the summit. We actually followed another motorhome from the Czech Republic all the way up, and started our ascent at around 4pm. The traffic was not too bad, with plenty of road with to pass vehicles coming down or allow cars to overtake you, although it was just our luck that the same day we went up, a mass car event called ‘The Garbage Run’ was coming down! Still, it wasn’t a problem, just a little slower! We also passed a public bus coming down from the summit on our way up.
At the top there is lots of space for overnight parking or wildcamping, as we were joined by 4 other campervans at the carpark next to the Sertorelli Sport Hotel looking down towards Bormio. The weather was perfect and there are 3 or 4 restaurant choices at the top, all with surprisingly reasonable prices and good menus.
The next morning we drove down to Bormio through the many tunnels and hairpins on that side. Our van is 2.85m high, and the Stelvio Pass tunnel height restriction is signposted as being 3.30m so plenty of room.
Cycling wise, the Stelvio from Bormio was as expected, a tough climb along the lines of Ventoux, although its constantly changing gradient made it tougher work at times. The climb was very differing in scenery and road types throughout, including some spectacular switch backs around 6km from the top. The scenery throughout both sides of the pass are absolutely stunning.
We also cycled the Gavia Pass from Bormio, a great climb too, and quite different in that the first 11km were 2 lanes with nice new tarmac up to the ski station, and beyond that it quickly turned into a rather rustic 1 lane road with plenty of pot holes! The views from the summit and the small refuge make it a climb absolutely worth doing.
The Mortirolo Pass was also cycled, although its hard to really class it in the same league as the Stelvio and Gavia, two beautiful climbs as good as any we have done in Europe. The Mortirolo is just 14km of pure suffering on steep always changing gradients with absolutely no respite at all! Enjoy!