Hammer days

Hammer days – Herbert.bike’s collection of the best trails in a region

You are in for a treat if you follow the suggestions of Herbert. This time we went into the Engadin and rode 3 days the best trails around St. Moritz.

First stop: panoramic tour to a mountain hut with lunch and great trails for dessert

We arrived around lunchtime at the “Sporthotel Pontresina” which was the base for the next few days. There was more than enough time left that day to go for a first ride with herbert. In order to get a decent amount of downhill we started off with a shuttle from Bike School Engadin up towards the Albula pass. The shuttle dropped us at the start of a short but punchy climb to the Es-cha mountain hut. The hut is not only really cute, is is also the starting point of the first trail of the Hammer Days.

Bigi, Alex and Dave on their way to the Es-cha hut – photo @outsideisfree.ch
Dave and Tina on one short “hike a bike” just before the Es-cha mountainhut – photo @outsideisfree.ch

The climb is punchy, but as soon as you get to the hut the effort is forgotten, the views from up there are magnificent. And the food is great too!

Es-cha mountain hut – photo @outsideisfree.ch

We get homemade Pizzoccheri for lunch (a local special) and eat it in front of the hut, enjoying warm sunrays and the views. The hut is member of the Swiss Alpine Club and open in summer and winter. We could stay for days – food and views are so good – but already from the hut the upcoming trail looks badass. Not long after food was served we grab our things and move on. The trail leads us all the way down into the valley up to a viillage called La Punt.

Tina and Dave on the uphill – photo @outsideisfree.ch


Panoramic trail directly in front of the Es-cha hut – photo @outsideisfree.ch


The trail starts off with a couple of rocks, or jumps for some. But the further you get down into the valley the more flow the trail offers – when you finally enter the forest it peaks and the trail gets super fast. With smiles for miles we end up in La Punt where the shuttle bus already awaits us. That first (half a) day out was definitely great. Too bad the trail ends this quickly, we could have continued in the woods for hours!

We love train-shuttles! With the Bernina Express directly to the trail head

On our second day a classic run was on the agenda – the excellent route from Bernina Pass down to Poschiavo.
What makes this tour so special? One thing is for sure the shuttle! We took the Rhaetian train up to the Bernina Pass, such a beautiful way to get to the trail head. The views from the train were marvellous. From the Bernina pass we have multiple trail options down to Poschiavo. The options vary from bascially a flowtrail, to some medium tech up to some rock gardens. The bernina loop is therefore suitable for almost every mountain bike level. This time we chose the option “La Rösa”, suitable for intermediate mountainbikers.

Panorama from Bernina Pass towards Poschiavo – photo @outsideisfree.ch

The trail starts with some rocky sections, becomes loose and there are a couple of hairpin turns as well, so it starts rather technical, but then gets easier by the minute However, if you are not a big fan of stones, you should avoid this trail, because after a very flowing forest passage the trail changes abruptly to a very fast but stony old Roman path down to Poschiavo, some might call it the longest rock garden they ever rode.

Alex on a particular fun section on “La Rösa” – photo @outsideisfree.ch
Dave at the upper part of this trail (close to the pass) – photo @outsideisfree.ch

La Rösa is for sure an amazing option down to Posciavo. But the nicest thing is, that you don’t have to decide which trail you ride that day. Just take the Bernina Express from Posciavo back up to the Bernina pass and ride another option. Or the same twice, since all the options are heaps of fun!

We ended up in Posciavo exhausted and we spoiled ourselves with Gelato on the central square in Posciavo. Also something very rewarding. As is the food by the way.

“The Professor” and Sandro on warp speed down that super fun trail – photo @outsideisfree.ch

After gelati we board the train with many other bikers and go back up to the Bernina Pass to ride the flow trail down to Pontresina. Not much to say about this trail. Some might find it funny, some might find it boring. Its for sure a lot nicer than to ride the street. But our advice is: Spend more time on the other side of the pass down to Posciavo until you are exhausted and then just take the train all the way back to Pontresina. You will have more Hammer Days moments of fun for sure. I think Herbert secretely agrees on that.

cheers – photo @ Balz Weber
BBQ im Chesa Rosatsch – photo @ Balz Weber

Since Herbert likes to spoil us with the best offers from the region (not just the trails) we end up having a BBQ at Chesa Rosatsch in Celerina. Something we can highly advice. A nice way to end a hammer day for sure!

Piz Nair – On the hunt for that sunrise light

After a very, very short night we get picked up by a shuttle at 3:30 AM to get to St. Moritz.

Ski crosser don’t need to be awake to carry 2 bikes – photo @ Balz Weber

As our final day in the Engiadina we will ride the best trails around the Piz Nair. But not only this, we also join the “Piz Nair Sunrise”. With a special uplift that gets up to the 3000m high Piz Nair before sunrise. Now, at around 5am we even get an amazing breakfast. Unfortunately some of us were not yet awake enough to hold a spoon (including Ben and Tina), but fortunately the breakfast buffet is open up until later that morning.

Piz Nair sunrise – photo @ Balz Weber
All the bikes – photo @outsideisfree.ch
Piz Nair – photo @ Balz Weber
Breakfast buffet – photo @ Balz Weber

Everyone looks forward to the sunrise. But clouds make it basically very hard for the sun to deliver a visually stunning performance. Or at least not just yet. Means for us more breakfast.

Sandro on the Fopettas Flowtrail – photo @ Balz Weber
Ben on the Olympia Flowtrail – photo @ Balz Weber

The sunrise was not very spectacular, but a bit later we did get amazing light. The clouds do go away at some point and the day turns out to be a bluebird.

Morning light with some fog on the Corviglia Flowtrail – photo @ Balz Weber
“The Professor” – photo @ Balz Weber

We spend another day full of hammer trails with Herbert. We did know most of the trails on Piz Nair. And they definitely deliver. The flow trails are nice as well. But its the other trails all around that Piz Nair that we count as the actual Hammer Trails. But go and have a look yourself.

The group at Piz Nair – photo @ Balz Weber
Tina and Ben towards Suvretta Pass – photo @ Balz Weber


Suvretta Pass – photo @ Balz Weber


happy Herbert.Bike crew – photo @ Balz Weber

After three days of riding in the Engadin we all agree, the tours and its trails in this “Hammer days” package are amazing. Good to know and already on our plans for the next season: The Hammer Days are also available in other regions, more information can be found here: Herbert Bike