Porsche - 15 passes in four days


Oct 21, 2005
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Wapping, London

This thread all about a suggestion to ride a possible route along 15 mountain passes in four days. The passes might be just what you want to ride or might be a long way from where you intend to go but stay with it. The real purpose of the thread is twofold:

(1) That it's possible to take ideas on roads to ride, things to see and places to stay from a variety of sources, so don't just limit yourself to motorbike orientated ideas. Lots of people - far more than the really very few who ride a motorcycle - like touring. They too like good views, nice roads to ride and decent hoteliers. It's easy to guess that most people in a sports car will avoid goat tracks but will like 'twisties', so they are not so very different to blokes on motorcycles. Use their ideas, too.

(2) Further down the thread, starting at post #7, then continuing at post #13 through to post #20 I have tried to show how it's possible to take a route from another source (in this case RiDE magazine) then join it to the very specific Porsche route to create one complete tour: Calais > 15 Alpine passes > Calais.

Hopefully, anyone should be able to do the same thing for their own holidays, as the same methods and ideas could apply if they wanted to go to Scotland or Croatia or Spain. There is lots of stuff out there, use it as it's all free, you can't break it and it's ultimately so much better than someone doing it ALL for you.


So let's get going.......

Porsche - 15 passes in four days

Porsche sponsors the publication of quite a nice book, detailing a reasonably relaxed way to take in 15 passes in four days. The route starts in Switzerland at Glarus, to cross the high Klausen Pass (1,948m) across amongst others the Stelvio, via Cortina in Italy, to finish at Zell am See in Austria.

In all, the route and passes go:

Day one, 97 miles

Klausenpass (1,948m)
Sustenpass (2,264m)
Grimselpass (2,165m)

Day two, 260 miles

Furkapass (2,436m)
Nufenpass (2,478m)
Gotthardpass (2,106m)
Fluelapass (2,383m)
Stilfser-Joch / Stelvio (2,757m)

Day three, 161 miles

Pordoijoch (2,239m)
Sellajoch (2,240m)
Grodner Joch (2,121m)
Passo di Falzarego (2,105M)
Passo di Giau (2,236m)

Day 4, 121miles

Drei Zinnen (2,320m)
Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse (2,504m)

As the route runs west to east, purists can argue that it crosses the mighty Stilfser-Joch / Stelvio by ascending the gentler side, before cresting the top and starting the descent via the multiple hairpins of the eastern side. Other commentators will doubtless tell you that its not worth doing at all or that there are better passes around. Meanwhile, yet more bods will tell you that the twisty side ascent is too frightening for words and that it's impossible to overtake anything, ever. The answers to which are: If you don't want to do it, do something else. If you want to reverse the route, to climb up the hairpins, start at the other end. In a similar vein, the route takes you up and over the old Gotthardpass (Tremola), which is made of blocks or cobbles. If you don't like the thought of that, take the very smooth modern road that runs parallel. Whilst you do so, consider that blokes (and girls) ride bicycles up the old road, whilst some other bod will be going up in his very hard suspension GT3 RS. Which will leave others time to debate whether riding up the private (toll) road to the excellent views at Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime di Lavaredo, in Italian) or the return loop up to the top of the very nice Passo Pordoi counts or not. The suggested route, is what it is. What do I think riders and drivers would get out of it? A reasonable pre-made route west to east, or visa-versa across some of the most iconic passes, nicely paced and above all taking you from the mountains of the Alps, to the much different shaped Dolomites and back into the Alps again.
















I have cut the route into BaseCamp and saved it on Dropbox. I haven't checked it fully but from a rough run through it seems OK.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dxnauuvc24acx6h/Porsche = 15 passes in 4 days.GPX?dl=0

It's .gpx file. Anyone using a Mac might find that Dropbox sometimes adds a .txt extension to the file. If this happens, download, save the file and then rename it, deleting the .txt part. It should then open up in BaseCamp or Mapsource.

Here's the book, it's available on Amazon:


Other reading:

John Hermann's bible of Alpine travel, of course:


Maps: You could do worse than heading to the Mapsman site: http://www.mapsman.com My advice though is that maps are a personal thing. What looks right for one person, looks like a muddled mess for another and visa-versa. I'd go into a decent bookshop, like Waterstones and look at the maps they have on offer, choosing maybe one or two of the maps I liked. Better still, I'd visit somewhere like Stanfords, to see just about all the maps on offer http://www.stanfords.co.uk/?gclid=CJGwkKvRyNECFfQW0wodkTECIw Failing that, I'd always keep my eyes open for maps and guides locally when I was there. Why would I always take a map or two? They are cheap and will last for years, giving you a much better broader idea of where you are, where you've been and where you are going than any GPS device.

How to get there and back again? There are lots of threads on this site and others which, with a bit of imagination, anyone could mix'n'match into a route to suite them. It should also be possible to cobble something together by adding in ideas from the RiDE magazine website, too. Come on, you've got the 'Across the Alps' bit done for you..... anyone can do the rest.

Great post...one day when my kids have left home i will go and do this... looks amazing
Wow that photo of the Tre Cime de Lavredo brings back fond memories of hiking round the Cime and up to the Rif Locatelli with my 14 month old son in a papoose ... he's 26 this year! Maybe I need to go back on the bike. Great thread :thumb2

The only problem is that the book has Porsche in the title and as a result cost £2,780 ;)
Just for something to do, I picked up my iPhone, asking ViaMichelin's freee route planer app to give me a suggested route from Calais to the start of the Porsche 15 passes in four days route, in motorcycle mode, avoiding motorway tolls, utilising the app's 'Discovery' option. It very quickly generated three routes between Calais and Glarus which, on the face of it at least, look OK. Each are about 550 miles, so let's say two days to complete the journey in ease. All done with little or no effort. Google map's route in bicycle mode (which will obviously avoid motorways) wasn't bad either.

I then asked the same ViaMichelin app to generate the most direct route it could find (allowing motorways and tolls) to come home the 700 miles between Zell am See and Calais. Easy again, let's say two days to come home.

There you have it. Eight days away, six of which are on good, pretty good or 'great mate' roads, with just a thrash to get back home; all created without breaking sweat. What are you waiting for?

Another great post ta. :thumb2

Never been out there yet and have seen plenty of photos, BUT, those you've posted are fabulous, some that made me larrf out loud .......they're fekkin outrageous!

(However, I'm off to do a 'Search' for 'muslim stuff' now as its become a bit thin on the ground of late and I do miss it so) :thumb
Just to see what can be done using what is already out there, I am going to see if (as I suspect it might be) whether it's possible to join the Porsche route to say, something lifted from (and then amended) from somewhere else on the internet, the RiDE site and their routes, say.

I am not going to cheat or do anything clever. What I hope to end up with is something that anyone can do. When reporting back on how I get on, I'll give a basic description of what I did at stage, too.

More later....
15 minutes gone....

Away we go...

I found the RiDE website. I had a very quick look at their Specials and found a set of routes that took in the Grossglockner. I knew that the Grossglockner is on the Porsche route, so I downloaded just the first three days of RiDE's route and then saved them into the Porsche file, just to see what they looked like. at the same time I also coloured them red, just so they stood out from my magenta Porsche route.

Here it is:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3mhlfas59...s in 4 days - RiDE way down added in.GPX?dl=0

Already you can can see that the routes come close together and start to overlap fully at Innerkirchen... we are cooking on gas in under 15 minutes and I'm a very slow typist.
Looking forward to it already, itching as I can't wait.................:bounce1

Just to see what can be done using what is already out there, I am going to see if (as I suspect it might be) whether it's possible to join the Porsche route to say, something lifted from (and then amended) from somewhere else on the internet, the RiDE site and their routes, say.

I am not going to cheat or do anything clever. What I hope to end up with is something that anyone can do. When reporting back on how I get on, I'll give a basic description of what I did at stage, too.

More later....
Under one hour from start to finish, the lot is joined-up. That included having to tug RiDE's shaping points about a bit to avoid circular loops.

Yes, if I were to use it I'd take RiDE's shaping point flags out and I'd make the outward leg green and the return leg red. But hey, that's just detail.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h8r0h807xewyg58/Porsche = 15 passes in 4 days - Final - RiDE.GPX?dl=0

Hopefully the files show the stages of process I went through to join RiDE's route to the Porsche route. If it gives bods the confidence to do it themselves (or at least to have a go) that's great. Play around, you really cannot ever break it.

Have fun!


PS If anyone wanted to go Calais > Porsche 15 passes > back to Calais, the final route offered up above would probably work pretty well. If you want to go the other way, just reverse it.

PPS All done in BaseCamp on a Mac, which will be enough to wow most crowds.

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