Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Col Alto/Piancavallo

Had a bit of time to kill so I jumped on the Merckx and pedaled up to Col Alto.  Around 1300 meters there was a snowy stretch so I hopped off and pushed the bike.   Otherwise a perfect ride.  The Merckx is much better handling going fast around curves than I remember.  I was impressed. 

The 100 meter snowy stretch just before Col Alto 

The climb

Friday, April 29, 2016


Finally rode up to Casso.  Beautiful views of Lago Vajont and surrounding mountains.  The town is full of stone houses with narrow stone walkways instead of streets.  Ride up and check it out!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pala Barzana

A week of rain, appointments, and only one bike commute.  But the skies cleared this morning and I headed for the hills.  Pala Barzana to be exact, a favorite nearby climb from Maniago to Poffabro, through the gap between Monte Jouf and Monte Raut, then down through Bosplans and the tunnel to Montereale Valcellina.  Lots of folks out enjoying La Liberazione holiday.

Monte Raut got a dusting of snow yesterday

The rugged mountains above Andreis

View to northwest

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cadolten Malga Coro MTB

This is my third time up this climb and I think it's becoming a favorite.  You can access it from either Sonego or Osigo, but I think the latter begins out slightly more gradually.  That helps get you in the right frame of mind.  There are numerous concreted ramps on the steepest sections which also helps.

The scenery is lovely forested mountainside with views of foothills and plains in the distance.  Once you reach the alto piano of Cadolten you cross rolling grassland and then a conifer forest which is perpetually shady and still snowy in mid-April.  Here I tried a new road up to Malga Coro.  This was on a grassy hill with great views in all directions.  It was cold and windy up there though so I turned back.  

A short ride brings you to the Monte Pizzoc road (still snowed-in above Cadolten), then to the strada provinciale toward Caneva (only traffic: a young man walking a cow).  I turned off onto Strada dei Patriarchi and cruised all the way down to Villa di Villa and the car.  Need to explore this area more.

Snowy coniferous forest road at Cadolten

Monte Pizzoc from Malga Coro

Watering hole near Cadolten


The climb from Osigo

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Via Guitcillo da Montanara MTB

Beautiful April morning with hundreds of bike riders on Via Pedemontane.  At Rugulo I weaved through a crowd coming out of church and continued on to Montaner.  I turned right on Via Guitcillo da Montanara and started suffering up the precipice.  I made it all the way up without stopping but I was too tired to celebrate.  Soon the dirt road turns to a grass path, which ends by a stone house.  Here you push the bike up over boulders to a deer stand in a clearing and then scramble up an embankment onto a gravel road.  Unfortunately the Garmin screen was tapped by some of the tangled branches and paused the track.  I blithely continued on my way but no navigation data was being  collected.  Not to worry though, I have the track from this exact route from a couple of years.  If you need to plan your route it's here:  Via-Guitcillo-da-Montanara

After some sali/scendi I arrived at the highway from Vittorio Veneto to Cansiglio.  After a few hundred meters I turned off pavement again on the road to Col Oliver.  This eventually connects to Strada dei Patriarchi and then the highway from Cansiglio to Caneva/Sarone.  Great ride. 
Gotta get down from these cold clouds into the sunshine

Death Climb from Montaner to end of pavement

Today's partial track

Complete track from 2 years ago

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Monte Pala MTB

Monte Pala above Clauzetto is one of my favorite climbs.  It's conveniently located nearby but seems quite remote when you get up there.  Today was perfect early Spring weather so I decided to get some photos of wildflowers.  Will try to return here for some hiking this Summer or Fall.

The snow prevented much bikesploration today

Crocuses near south summit

Bouquet of wild premule

Rose di natale

Not sure what these are but they're pretty

These were everywhere along the dirt road.
My friend Wavell said they are in the onion family

The total climb from Molinars

The gravel road to the summit

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Strada della Venezia delle Nevi MTB

I climbed this gravel road in July 2014 and vowed to only descend it if I rode it again. But today that was all forgotten so up I went.  I was already hot by the time I finished the paved introduction so at the start of gravel I stripped to bike shorts only and headed up.  It's a rough surface and fairly remote so I was careful not to break the bike or any bones.  Most of the climb is across from Croda di San Tome, a beautiful sheer cliff face.  At the base of the cliffs runs a wide stream, Torrente Artugna, which was quite noisy with all the cascading snow melt.

I was hoping to reach Sauc and Piancavallo like last time, but ran into snow above 1000 meters.  I pushed the bike a few hundred meters hoping it was just a patch but it kept getting deeper.  The descent is very long and rough even with front shocks.  Luckily there are many treefalls which require you to dismount so I got some brief respite from the beating.  I'll have to try this again this fall, the wildness is worth the effort.  

Note the paravalange near
Castaldia on Piancavallo road

Crode di San Tome with road from Dardago visible on the right

Wonderful spring full of snowmelt: I filled up in both directions

Snow blocks the last kilometer or two

The entire climb

The gravel portion

Friday, April 1, 2016

Tamar MTB

This is a mysterious area east of Tramonti di Sotto.  Several abandoned settlements including Tamar and Palcoda  are hidden among the hills.  I enjoyed a vigorous workout climbing the gravel road up from Torrente Tarceno.  I'll try to come back this summer and hike to some of the other settlements.  Tamar was the only one I could reach by bike.  You can hike here from Campone, the trail sign said it takes 1 hour and 15minutes 

Abandoned house at Tamar

The steep gravel road

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Monte Mulon MTB

Overcast morning, threatening to rain any minute.  Luckily it was just bluffing. I rode to Meduno and up to Forchia Meduno then to the turnoff for Campone and Monte Valinis.  Here I started up a dirt road toward Monte Mulon.  The steeper bits were concreted, but still an excellent workout.  There was a latched gate marked "private property" at 928 meters and it was all snowy from there on so I turned around.  Took some pictures first though, including bear tracks in the snow.  Very cool to see those, I think they may be the first ones I've seen in Italy.  Good ride, I'll try again this summer.

Karstic outcropping below the summit

The snowy cloudy summit

Bear prints

Pussy willows?  Don't know

The climb from Meduno to 928 meters

Climb up the dirt road from Campone/Mt Valinis junction

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Monte Jouf MTB

Overcast Easter morning  for a MTB ride up nearby Monte Jouf.  My legs got a brief warm up on the 9 km road from home, then it tilts up sharply.  After a brief paved stretch it becomes a wide well-graded dirt road.  The gradient is constant so once you get in the right rhythm you just keep going for an hour or so.  Up above 1000 meters patches of snow appeared which gradually covered the road.  I pushed the bike through the snow awhile but eventually got tired and my feet were getting wet/cold.  Ride down was great fun.  Have to try this again in a few months.

After about half-km of pushing bike through snow,
 I quit here at 1100 meters

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Col Alto Monumento ai Partigiani MTB

I've tried to reach this monument a couple of times but always end up somewhere else.  Today I finally nailed it.  It's atop a treeless summit and can be seen for miles around, especially the billowing Italian flag.  I rode from Rugolo up to Dal Cin, but it's much easier from the Carbonai park along Strada dei Patriarchi (the way I descended).  It's a beautiful spot with a great view, and a moving inscription on the monument, commemorating 406 Partigiani killed by Italian fascists in the latter part of World War II.

Monument at 866 meters

The flag, normally billowing, seems torn by the recent high winds.
The Alpini will fix it soon

Visentin and Pizzoc

The wall from Rugolo to Chiesetta Alpini

From Rugolo to summit

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Val di Lama MTB

A glorious Spring Day, with birds singing everywhere and all the plants budding/flowering.  I rode the MTB down to Coltura and headed up the hill to Mezzomonte.  Just past the cemetery before you reach the town turn left and start climbing.  I ran into snow around 1020 meters and hiked a little way to see if it was just a patch, but no it kept on being snowy.  So my original destination of Val di Lama fell through.  I'll try again later this Spring.

Looking back down the snowy road I'd hiked up

The road just keeps getting snowier, and steeper too

Friday, March 11, 2016

Busa del Sauc Snowshoeing

Marilyn wanted to go snowshoeing too so I drove to Piancavallo, parked by the turnoff for Sauc and we set off.  After a short warmup hiking she hit the snowshoe trail.  Very impressed how well she did after a long break (maybe 10 years?)

The snow is very deep this year