15-Sep-2013 -- This confluence visit is the second out of 3 visits that I made during a tough cycling week-end in Austria’s and Italy’s Alpine mountains. The story starts from 47°N 13°E.
In the early morning Gertrude gave me a great breakfast. If you know cyclists then you know that they can finish up any buffet. At 7 AM I set off from Döllach in the Mölltal and rode to Winklern. In order to get into the Drau valley, I had to cross over a little pass called Iselberg. The Drau valley has an absolute perfect bicycle path following all the way up and continuing down the Rienz valley into Italy and the town of Bruneck. From Bruneck, a side valley (Ahrntal or Valle Aurina) leads to the confluence point. The nearest distance from the road is 210 m at the village Gatter. Since there is a steep canyon in-between and the fast flowing river Ahrn, I continued about 300 m on the main road until I found this bridge to cross the river.
On the other side of the river, I had the option to follow a path upwards or a path along the river. I opted for the river (big mistake) because the other path was too steep for cycling. At a distance of 160 m I abandoned my bicycle and hiked straight upwards towards the confluence. The grade was so steep, that I had to grip from tree to tree to pull myself upwards (a very slow-going way of proceeding). Finally, at a distance of 40 m, I crossed the other path. If I had taken that path, I could have had a pleasant walk.
The confluence point is located in a dense spruce forest at a steep slope. From the exact point, there is no view into the valley, but 20 m further there is. As previous visitors have already mentioned, GPS coverage is extremely poor due to the mountains and dense forest. After observing GPS for a while, I got at least an accuracy of 8 m.
After the visit I rode back to Bruneck and stayed overnight in the next village called St. Lorenzen.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 210 m
- Distance to a track: 40 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 160 m
- Time to reach CP from bicycle parking: 20 minutes
- Time at CP: 5:30 PM
- Measured height: 1203 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy: 8 m
- Topography: extremely steep slope.
- Vegetation: spruce and pine forest, moss on the ground
- Weather: overcast, 17° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: Steep South Tyrol Confluence
The story continues is at 46°N 11°E.