aka pso di Costalunga

Karerpass is the main traffic route between the Bozen (Bolzano) area and the val di Fassa in the dolomites. It can have quite a bit of traffic, including buses and trucks. The route is heavily commercialized. At the beginning of the western approach are two long tunnels, that are open to bicycles or can be portaged and cycled around. Taking this old, partially abandoned road around the tunnels just may be the most interesting part of Karerpass.

1.(00.0km,265m) START-END EAST: Bozen: bike path west of downtown
2.(04.0km,297m) Route turns up Eggental in Karneid (Comedo Al I'sarco)
4.(29.7km,1712m) Nigerstrasse to Nigerpass diverts to north
5.(30.5km,1752m)TOP: Passo Costalunga
6.(39.8km,1359m)START-END WEST: jct SS241 - Via Dolmiti in San Giovanni


From West. Finding the entrance to the Eggental from the luxurious biketrail from Bozen is not exactly easy the first time around. There are signs, but a few more at critical junctions would help. Leaving Bozen you can can take the bike trail running along the river to Sterzing(Vipeteno)  (direction Brenner Pass), or more easily follow the road out of town and pick up the bike trail when the road crosses the river. In the town of Karneid, the bike route seems to go by the Rathaus (city hall), easily recognizable by the bluish mural of the "knight of Karneid", pic3 below. The old road up the Eggental is currently closed because of a rockslide (June/09). But with a mountain bike it's an easy short 1 minute portage over it. The route goes up the valley to the right of the Rathaus. The old road snakes through a canyon below a majestic castle (pic 5), which is much more attractive than the hole in the mountain the new road goes through, unless perhaps it's raining cats and dogs.

If instead you want to take the first 1500m tunnel (preferable with a loaded touring bike), you have to turn around at the knight of Karneid mural and take the bicycle/ pedestrian bridge onto the other side of the river. If you pass the object in pic 2 you have also gone in the wrong direction. The bike path snakes itself around under the highway over another bridge back to the east side of the river. The tunnel is now to the right. Once you pass a red fish on the bike trail (pic1), which is part of an art gallery next to the bike path, you again went too far. At this point it's easiest to hoist the bike over the barricade onto the highway exit, heading back towards Bozen and bingo, there's the big rondell with a sign pointing into the tunnel: "Karerpass". The well lit tunnel, about 1150m long tunnel joins back with the old road at the other tunnel end, only to dive into the next 1500m tunnel within 10 meters.

The second tunnel is more easily circumnavigated. The old road continues on the other side, at this tiny opening between tunnels, crossing over a barricade that operates like a train crossing barricade. The old highway here hangs by the side of a canyon, that is worth just a look even if you have to turn around and go back (pics 4 and 6). But that should not be necessary as a bicycle is easily hoisted across the barricade on the other end, meeting the new road where tunnel number two emerges from the mountain. That old highway with its hanging rock nets, waterfalls and roughly hewn, small tunnel of its own may well be the best part of Karerpass.

Now again in heavy traffic the road makes its way up to Birchabruck, where the first needle like dolomite peak is seen, direction pso. di Lavace (pic 7). Below Welschnoven, the Rosengarten group peaks ahead start making regular appearances in the sky. Pic 8 is taken near Welschnoven. Reality is not quite as romantic as the picture makes it appear, as there is a big parking lot and a very commercial restaurant just outside the frame. Above Welschnoven the switchbacks get serious, the grade picks up as the road enters a thick forest. The last few km below Karerpass are heavily commercialized, not just with a luxury hotel, bars, beergardens, but also an equestrian school and a clothing outlet. No need to worry of dying from exposure during bad weather. The bars are happy to have another customer.

From East. (described downwards). The top of this pass also marks with mind numbing exactness the end of the German speaking territory and the beginning of Italian-only speaking territory. After such a monumental climb, the descend on this side is surprisingly easy on the brakepads of a loaded touring bike. The Rosengarten peaks are now behind, and the really jagged peaks of the Sella group are partially obscured by lower mountains. Turning left at the first of the dolomite tourist towns, heading towards the Sella group, the road leads uphill again. Turing right to Moena the downhill continues.

a day on a tour:

(<Penser Joch|Pso di San Pelegrino>)
Karerpass: Andrian (a few km north of Bozen) > Bozen > Karerpass > Fontanac (just a few km short of Canazei): 41 miles with 5600ft of climbing in 5:0 hours (VDO MC1.0: m3:9.6.3)
Notes: ncludes a fast room search.

A Dayride from the end point of this Extended Tour, Fontanac is on page: Sella Joch

aka pso di Costalunga

Highest Point:
Western Approach:

from Bozen (265m) 1487m 30.5km
from Karneid, start of Eggental (297m) 1455m 26.5km
Eastern Approach:

from San Giovanni (1359m) 393m 9.3km

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