“Are you crazy?“ is one of the more friendly comments on hearing of our plan to cross all the major passes of the Alps in four days. But what are you supposed to do when you‘re hopelessly addicted to the mountains – and you have limited time? Now is the time put together the ultimate tour from the countless roads, passes and traverses that can be covered on a long weekend. And anyway, you should set yourself goals in life to make sure it doesn‘t get boring. And while Reinhold Messner only set himself “seven summits“ to climb, with the exuberance of late adolescence, we decide to go for fourteen Alpine traverses, plus one road leading up a valley. The Mille Miglia of the Alps, as it were. With lots and lots of curves. And little sleep.
Ein Blick hinter die Kulissen:
It is our passion for this wild roller-coaster journey – along masterpieces of the art of road construction and through many of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world – that binds Jan Baedeker and me. And it is has brought us together again for this book. So now we are sitting over maps and travel guides, studying elevation profiles and curve radii, rummaging in libraries and archives, letting ourselves be carried away again by the enthusiasm we share for the mountains, to which so many others before us have become addicted – and finally work out our ultimate route. Fourteen passes, four days, urgently recommended as an example for others. You can complete this tour through the Alps of course with almost any car, or with a motorbike. Or, if you‘re really nuts and have killer carves, then you can also manage it with a racing bike. The perfect interface between man and a hairpin bend, as we see it however – and both of us agree on this – is a well-tuned, not too heavy sports car from Porsche. It can’t be coincidence that the inventor of the Porsche came originally from the Austrian Alps and not from the flatlands of northern Germany. The experience and the successes in the numerous hill climbs – on the Grossglockner high Alpine road, for example, the Porsche family’s “home circuit” – have determined Porsche’s sports car character to this day. On the trips we took for “Curves“, I met numerous enthusiastic Porsche drivers and negotiated the most wonderful winding mountain roads in a wide variety of Porsche models from different years. How different one and the same combination of curves can feel and how similar, despite the technical advances made, the common features are in terms of driving pleasure – that too is the subject of this book.
The Alps by the way – as are the Himalayas – are the teenagers among the collision mountain ranges. If you were to look at the last few millions of years as a time-lapse sequence, you would see the section from the Alpine peak of Mont Blanc to the Dolomites like a series of waves rising up in a rough sea. And when – perhaps inspired by this book – you turn the ignition key to start up the engine of your car one early morning in the valley, you too can experience a little of the feeling the ”big wave surfer“ gets when you start on a death-defying ride on a geological monster wave just before it starts to break out. Enjoy your ride!
Stefan Bogner & Jan Baedeker