Val Surses Savognin Pizza Grossa Loop
Beautiful terrain, perfect trails, and one of the best descents anywhere
There was no greater surprise in the Graubünden than this run that we found above Savognin. We'd driven over the Julierpass countless times, always speeding through the Val Surses with little thought as to what might lay above. It turns out that the goods tucked away above Savognin are great. Best of all, we got to circumnavigate the Pizza Grossa.
This one starts off with a shuttle drop-off 700 meters above town, but you'll have to either time your arrival for each Wednesday during the summer months, when it runs, or just run yourself up to the starting point from town. Connecting road and bits of trail, obviously adds to the overall distance and vert, but then again, you get to add to your overall distance and vert and time in a beautiful place.
The starting kilometers are classic cow trails that quickly gain elevation to the 2370 meter mark. There, things open up ahead of you and it becomes clear there is some very good running ahead. A long traverse sweeps you into meadows beneath the Tinzenhorn and finally to the stunning turquoise lake, Lai Tigiel. There, you start the steeper climb to the Pass digls Orgels.
From the pass, it's clear your day is going to go from so far so good to, "Whoa... I didn't know any of this was back here, and look at that trail we're about to do!!" And, the lakes. And, the crazy earth tones. And, did we mention that trail? We really liked this run.
Now, you run, fast and playful, all the way back to Savognin on trails that never let up for their quality. It has to be one of the longer, most sustained pieces of good trail in the Alps, for the entire 1700 meter descent!
Put this one high on the list.
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Start: 46.608638, 9.620135
- Take note of the Wednesday's only bus shuttle. Details for the summer shuttle from Savognin to Plang la Curvanera here.
- There's no food on the route. Water is available very late in the run at Castelas. Take a filter to fill up earlier.
The Pizza Grossa Loop starts off innocently enough in cow country
Emerging from pastures to higher ground with the Pass digls Orgels in the distance
Gaining elevation to the Pass digls Orgels above Lai Tigiel
The wide open, clean, earthy landscape after the pass
Too distracted by fun running to look around
Little did we know that we'd be running downhill like this for 1700 meters
Still running down but changing into grass mode
A brief section of dirt road before entering forest trails all the way to Savognin
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