For the next outing on our Ventana El Conquistador de Montañas S&S MTB tandem with Rohloff hub (or ECdM for short) it was decided that we should try an overnight tour. I had purchased a Thule Pack ‘n Pedal tour rack previously so just had to install it on the bike. I do a mini review of the rack in my Thule Pack ‘n Pedal tour rack on an MTB tandem post but the long and short of it is… the rack fits on the ECdM full suspension tandem without to much bother and stayed in place for the whole two days over all kinds of terrain.
Suffice to say trying to get a tent, two sleeping bags, two roll mats and water and food for two days in two rucksacks and one rack was a bit trickier than I thought. We got there in the end (2 hours later than planned) with the tent and two roll mats on the rack within dry sacks and the sleeping bags in our rucksacks along with all the other bits and pieces (we didn’t take a stove as there was no space and I knew we could get meals along the way). The rough plan was to ride along the river Sihl to the Sihlsee and find somewhere to wild camp on the ridge between the Sihlsee and the Wagitalersee lakes then cycle back the next day via a different route.
Day 1 – Zurich to Etzel (GPS track)
We set off from the centre of Zurich along the Sihl river. The ride along the river is pleasant and not two challenging. We stopped for a quick ice cream at restaurant Sihlmatt which I highly recommend as a place to eat – they do great fish (in fact that is all they do). The second part of the ride involved some road riding as you cannot ride beside the river all the way to the Sihlsee lake unfortunately. We then climbed up to the top of Etzel waited till dusk and dropped into the woods and found a discrete place to camp for the night (not where I had planned to camp but we ran out of time to get to where I hoped due to the late start). We travelled 44km and climbed 1377m.
After a rather poor nights sleep (the pitch was on a bit of a slope) we packed up quickly in the morning and headed onwards. Some fantastic rooty singletrack down from Etzel was a great way to start the day. We then continued along mountain trails and single lane roads. We only had a bit of fruit for breakfast so quickly became hungry – just as we were both getting ravenous we came upon a mountain hut serving breakfast which was absolutely perfect – we had a great breakfast of bread, cheese, ham and coffee at Alpwirtschaft Gueteregg which was just what we needed. We then continued along the trails to the Sattelegg pass. We continued along the ridge for a bit and followed the Iron Bike Race Einsiedeln trail which dropped us down to the Sihlsee lake. We stopped for a swim in the lake and then had lunch in Willerzell. After that I decided we would follow the Swiss MTB route 22 back to Zurich. This turned out to be a big mistake as the section we followed for almost two hours was all tarmac roads which became very frustrating. I finally gave up on route 22 and we made our own route back to the Sihl river and followed it home. We cycled 82km and climbed 1608m.
All in all we had a good weekend but I definitely need to work on the tour packing setup and should do more route planning in advance.
Day 1 & 2 Picture gallery