Fat biking

Fat biking is definitely the least known of the mountain biking disciplines, but it is also the most modern and fastest-growing.
In Ossola Valley, this discipline, thanks to the splendid routes you can take through fairy-tale landscapes, is attracting more and more fans. Riding these mountain bikes with “oversized” tires, you can even ride on snowy slopes or on particularly uneven terrain.
The most sought-after destination is the upper Formazza Valley: here the natural scenery and the formation of the mountains make a day on a fat bike truly unforgettable.

The large size of the wheels makes fat bikes particularly easy to control and their large supporting surface on the ground guarantees extreme stability. This does not mean that they’re right for everyone, though… Trying out fat biking on a well-beaten track with wonderful views such as the climb from Riale (last outpost of the Formazza Valley that can be reached by car) to the Maria Luisa refuge can be an exhilarating experience. The route is about 12 km (7 1/2 miles) long with a difference in height of 500 metres (1640 ft) and is almost always beaten by snow groomers.

Also Vigezzo Valley is increasingly investing in fat bikes: at Piana di Vigezzo you can hire this special mountain bikes and have fun along some trails at high altitudes.

Still in Formazza Valley, where new fat bike routes are already planned, the climb to Alpe Vannino is worth mentioning. You can start from the hamlet of Ponte, with its comfortable and fast Sagersboden chairlift. When you dismount the chairlift, continue along the road, almost always beaten, which leads to the Myriam refuges (a few hundred metres) and to the Margaroli refuge at Alpe Vannino, overlooking the beautiful frozen dam. A truly splendid scenic route in the heart of spectacular nature!

The routes shown can be followed only if the weather/snow safety conditions allow. VisitOssola recommends contacting the refuges in question, the ski lifts or the Mountain Sport Center in Formazza.

Fat bike rental (including with pedal assistance) at Mountain Sport Center Formazza – Riale – at Albergo Aalts Dorf.

Find inspiration here