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Grächen - the natural trail paradise in the Mattertal

With snow covering the trails for 4-5 months of the year Tina Gerber’s winter riding options are limited in her native Switzerland. That’s why when the snow melts she makes the most of it by going in search of the best mountain bike locations she can find. Her favourite location this year was Grächen, her natural trail paradise in the Mattertal.

Breathtakingly beautiful bike scenery

The town of Grächen is situated in the Mattertal valley and as the name already suggests, the Matterhorn is not far away. It’s more famous neighbor, Zermatt, is investing a lot into mountain biking and will host an EWS Enduro race next year. But Grächen is not far behind its big brother, at least that's what we think. For two days I rode the trails in and around Grächen with Armin, Nils and Carolina covering as many of the best trails in the Upper Valais as I could.

 

Excellent public transport facilities

Everywhere we found either gondolas or Postbuses that transform tedious asphalt ascents into eventful and relaxed rides.  Such a great range of public transport facilities for going up should not be missed if you want to make a good amount of vertical meters going down!

By bus and by bike at the same time

Tina Gerber tests Shimano XT brakes while heading downhill

The focus of our two days lay clearly on the descents. This didn’t mean no climbing at all, just a lot more time going where gravity wanted to take us. It was the perfect occasion to test our recently upgraded Shimano XT 4-piston brakes.

Tina Gerber tests Shimano XT brakes while downhilling

Shimano XT brakes

BR-M8020 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc Brake

"I love the upgraded Shimano XT brakes!" - Tina Gerber

The BR-M8020’s did not disappoint! The additional bite of the brakes with a reliable brake point meant we were riding into every descent with a lot of confidence and no fatigue.

 

The trails around the area

The trails are located close to the villages of Visp, Visperterminen, Gspon, Stalden, Moosalp and Jungen. Whichever of these you mention, local trail connoisseurs will most likely know not one but many great options to get back down into the valley. The variety of trails truly know no limitations. Those who prefer easy trails will find super flowy options along one of the many ancient watercourses, known as Suonen.

Tina Gerber heading to the sun

Tina Gerber - Grächen Valais

World Championships 2019

Whilst Zermatt is hosting a world class international mountain bike race soon, not to be out done Grächen is the location for the XC Marathon World Championships in 2019. The trail selection won’t be as demanding, but it shows how the hearts of the locals are beating.

That said there are still plenty of rougher trails that proved to me just how assured my 1X drivetrain was at keeping the chain where it belongs.

Nils and Caroline guiding different tours (1/2)

Over the two days Nils and Caroline took us on two completely different tours. We spent the first day in Grächen riding the fast, dusty and rough Enduro Trails in between the Suonen. And on the second day we switched to the other side of the valley and made a breathtaking round trip over the Moosalp, Jungen and ended up in St. Niklaus, a village down in the valley.

Nils and Caroline guiding different tours (2/2)

A variety of all kind of spectators

Grächen has endless potential

Grächen is a bike destination with endless potential. The local community as well as the tourism industry are supporting the sport completely and clearly see a big future in mountain bike tourism.

A small break to recharge for the next ride

Bird eye view

As bikers we felt completely welcome, with plenty of choice to either train for a Marathon World Cup or just to have fun playing around in the woods.

Tina Gerber's exploration in Grächen