A Plan Is Hatched
Kurt and I were glued to our computer screens, connecting dots, translating trail descriptions, and puzzling over Google Earth. By the middle of the 2014 school year, we’d both begun dreaming of time off—bikepacking-filled time off. We agreed that we both wanted an adventure in new territory characterized by big mountains, different cultures, and mountain bike touring. We decided to spend five weeks traversing as much of the Alps as we could, with everything we’d need strapped snuggly onto our bikes and stuffed into our backpacks.
We made a rough plan that would hopefully emerge from this tangled mess:
Through importing and creating routes in Google Earth and TopoFusion, we started to get an idea of what we’d gotten ourselves into.
The result was the most intimidating route profile we had ever seen—1,000 miles and 300,000 feet of climbing! Fortunately, we could turn north toward Zurich anytime after mile 600, providing ample flexibility and eliminating the common stressor of “having” to cover a set distance in order to reach a predetermined endpoint.
When we finally stopped pedaling and hiking 800 miles later, what we had accomplished looked like this: