Hike and Ride in the Alps - Aroser Rothorn

Posted by Rocco Schulz on Mon 25 August 2014

“Today will be an awesome day, I can feel it.”

This was the first thing that Flo said to me after I turned off the alarm clock at 1:15 AM. It was time to get ready for a long hike. We left the parking lot in Arosa, Switzerland at 2 o’clock to hike towards Älplisee.

Breakfast at 4 AM on the way up to the Parpaner Rothorn

Breakfast at 4 AM on the way up to the Parpaner Rothorn

We wanted to reach the Erzhornsattel at sunrise to film in the morning light. Luckily we did not get there as we had planned. Instead we took an even better way. Instead of turning left after the first few kilometers we kept walking straight until we reached the Parpaner Rothorn at 6 AM. The Parpaner Rothorn can also be reached comfortably from Lenzerheide with the cable cars. There is a large network of great, scenic bike trails that connect the Parpaner Rothorn with various places in this area. But that was not what we were looking for.

First sunlight on the Parpaner Rothorn

First sunlight on the Parpaner Rothorn


“Let’s try to cross the Aroser Rothorn to get back onto the planned route”

I suggested and so we kept going. The path leads along the ridge that connects both peaks: the Parpaner Rothorn and the Aroser Rothorn. The way is not officially marked in newer maps but it has been in a very good condition.

We reached the Aroser Rothorn at approx. 9 AM and to our surprise we could immediately spot two possible routes down to the Welschtobel that could be ridden. Our first option would have been to ride to the Erzhornsattel and then continue on the marked path to the Ramozhütte. The second option was just taking the direct way down over the south face of the Rothorn. With the prospect of a long lasting freeride over loose pebble towards the ravine it didn’t take us long to make a decision. With a mixture of controlled sliding, riding, uncontrolled sliding, bailing and walking we descended to the ravine.

Aroser Rothorn - South Face

Aroser Rothorn - South Face

Aroser Rothorn - South Face

Aroser Rothorn - South Face

By then the sun had reached its zenith and was heating up the paltry, rocky terrain. One of the downsides of riding above the tree line in summer is the lack of shadow and the exposure to the midday sun. Fortunately a stream of melted snow and ice served us well, to cool down and refill our water supply. Refreshed and still thrilled about the fast ride down the slope we then continued our ride back to Arosa over a fast bike trail along the Welschtobel.

Freeride - Aroser ROthorn south face

Freeride - Aroser Rothorn south face

Flo was right. It was an awesome day indeed – and it might not have been the last one in this massive playground for mountain unicyclists.

photos by Florian Kaiser