Sunday, November 23, 2014

Maloria

Maloria is on a side road I've passed dozens of times but never explored.  Today the weather is stupendo so I thought I'd ride to Maloria and then trailblaze to Via Patriarca above Villa di Villa.  I should  have taken my MTB for the dirt roads, but I needed to ops check a shorter stem I'd installed on the Merckx so I rode it instead.

After warming up on Via Pedemontana to the turnoff for Sarone I headed up the road toward Il Cansiglio.  At 550 meters elevation turn left toward località Maloria.  Almost immediately turn left again at the road marked Bambini al Pascolo(!)  Continue bearing left until you head steeply down a curving concrete ramp.  Here you reach end of pavement and a couple of houses.  I walked around trying to figure where to go but the map was no help.   I rode back up the hill and at the Bambini al Pascolo sign turned left.  This paved road  winds steeply up to Posta Cavarzerani  at 674 meters.

I returned to the curve where the road starts to head steeply downhill because my map showed a dirt road branching off there.  A lady trying to herd her barking dogs told me to watch out, it's steep.  Turns out it's a hiking trail, not a road and she was right about the steepness.  I carried the bike on my right shoulder down the bouldery trail, encountering a large group of hikers.  This continued for a half kilometer till I reached a grassy area with a house.  I hopped on the bike and rode through the grass till I arrived at a concrete ramp.  I descended, it turned to dirt and then to grass and went up a grassy knoll.   Pretty view of the plain from here, but no road.  So I retraced my route to a turnoff headed east.  I was pretty sure I was lost now but amazingly this road soon turned to grass and ended with the same group of houses at the dead end I'd explored a half hour before.  I'd been at the right place after all,  I just didn't know to follow the grassy area till it turned into a road.  Next time I'll be ready!


I headed back down the main Cansiglio road to Via Pedemontana and continued toward home.  At the crest of the climb to Budoia a guy caught up with me and was drafting until I blew a shift and he veered around me.   He slowed up and I went around.  So the rest of the way home instead of loafing I tried to keep the pace up so I wouldn't get in his way.  Good training for my legs after the long rainy spell.  



The turnoff at 550 meters.

Turn left here to Maloria Basso; go straight for Maloria Alto

Bear left for Maloria Basso

Posta Cavarzerani at 674 meters


The steep hiking trail joins a grassy pasture here


Friday, November 21, 2014

Corona

Rode my Merckx to Travesio and then up Valcosa to Clauzetto.  From Clauzetto I continued climbing toward Pradis di Sopra (Orton), but turned right at 720 meters on road for Zuaniers and Ropa.  Shortly afterward I turned right again: can't remember if it was marked but there's photo of the junction below.

This narrow forest lane meanders up and around through logging waste to 757 meters.  A man driving a tractor pulling a large tree trunk stopped to tell me to "sta attento al lavoro."  Very nice of him to stop and warn me; further up the road some men had the road half-blocked chopping tree-falls.

The lane is paved for the most part until near Corona, where it turns to dirt, though still road bikeable.   Some nice restored stone farmhouses surround a grassy meadow at Corona, then you arrive at the paved road from Vito d'Asio to Madonna della Neve which I climbed last year.  Lovely ride home on this sunny fall day, though I was tired from the climb.   

Note: Installed the 1995 Campagnolo front brake on the Merckx last night and ops checked it on these descents.  Works great. 

Unmarked turn off on road to Zuaniers 

Hiking trail to parish church San Martino: must try it

Start of San Martino trail: later it's flanked by thousand-year old walls

Monte Pala above to north

View west of Monte Cavallo

A wider view of Monte Cavallo gruppo

To east: Monte Cura left, Madonna della Neve
right (tiny white spot)

Friendly dogs at Agriturismo Paradiso

Dirt road from Corona joins road to Vito d'Asio

The dogs sat down to wait while I took some pictures

Hungry baby asino hoping to get some milk



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Preplans

Again the waters have parted and people are daring to venture outside.  I rode the spare Merckx (the Viner is awaiting a new set of cables) and it worked fine.  After Meduno I rode northwest briefly until the left turn for Preplans.  This little road passes a hydroelectric plant, then descends steeply to Torrente Meduna  at Ponte Paludana.  This is a narrow bridge, but it's paved and has guard rails- not bad.  After the bridge you head steeply up a couple of switchbacks: half a kilometer reaching 18%.  At the end of the road is Borgo Preplans, a group of stone houses.  I had tried reaching this from above  earlier this year but the trail turned into a steep slide- hate to think what going up would be like.

After taking some pictures I recrossed the bridge and went up the steep east bank: this one is merely 14%.  My intention of returning via Val Muie and Valcolvera fell through when I noticed the front brake sticking: I had to reach down to reopen the caliper after each stop.  Started working on it when I got home: heavily corroded.  I may cannibalize the brake from my Trek 1220 (originally on 1995 Pinarello Dyna).   

Churning Torrente Meduna north of bridge

Ponte Paludana with switchbacks

View north toward Monte Rest

Snowy Monte Raut

Navarons across Val Muie


Friday, November 14, 2014

Monte Celant MTB

The torrential rains have paused briefly so I leapt at the chance for a ride.  I drove to Tramonti di Sotto and started rustily pedaling the MTB.  I turned east on Via Cima Riva and then through localita  Comesta (a house with a barn and a mule).  Soon the narrow lane descends toward Torrente Tarcenò and pavement ends.  I was worried about the guado being overfilled from all the rain, but it was only maybe 10-15 cm deep.  The cool water felt good on my feet and calves.

Now the packed gravel road gets steep- lots of ramps with gradient in the high teens, with a median  13.4% slope for 2 km until 580 meters.  Then you descend slightly to Stavoli Tamar, ruins of an abandoned settlement.  I descended a bit more and then saw a sign for Monte Celant, which I'd only seen previously from the south near Campone.  This road was in surprisingly good condition- I expected a washed-out, muddy logging road.  The gradient is steep, but alternates with easier stretches so you can catch your breath (3 km averaging 11%).  

Around 965 meters the road levels out and then descends some.  It abruptly ends, with a blazed trail  to the summit (1093 meters).  I was in a hurry though and headed back down.  The descent was a blast: even the counter-climbs at Tamar and the Torrente Tarcenò felt good.  I will come back and try variations to Campone and Stavoli Palcoda, another abandoned village.

The first guado on a branch of the Tarcenò
Double guado crosses Tarcenò twice

Abandoned houses at Stavoli Tamar

Painting on side of ruins

Close-up of the flower painting

From near 800 meters: Tramonti di Sotto on left, di Mezzo on right,
and di Sopra in background; Torrente Meduna on left

Waterfalls along Torrente Tarcenò




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Croce d'Aune

Finally made it to this famous climb.   I left home late and parked in Feltre on the road for Pedavena. This is a good short warm-up as it gently slopes up to start of the climb at 350 meters.  The next couple of kilometers are quite steep so I took it easy.  The roadway is very wide and well-paved.  Eventually the gradient lessens somewhat and the road winds up a densely forested mountainside to Croce d'Aune (1022 meters).  I didn't even slow down though: I continued climbing up to Monte Avena (1267 meters).

From Monte Avena I couldn't find the road down to Ponte Serra, where I'd intended to ride up the busy highway to Ponte d'Oltra then climb up Croce d'Aune from the west (the hard side).  So I followed the only road I saw (unmarked) which descended back to the Pedavena-Croce d'Aune road at 719 meters (junction marked Col Melon).

I was running short of time now so I did the next best thing- climbed back up to Croce d'Aune and took some photos a short distance down the west side.  I'll have to come back and try the full climb from the west later.  As it was I had a great descent to Pedavena, where lots of folks were out enjoying the fine weather.   Will come back here soon.

Mountains to northeast from Monte Avena

Mountains to north from westside of Croce d'Aune

View northwest from Croce d'Aune

View west from Croce d'Aune


Friday, October 31, 2014

Pala d'Altei Hike

I parked at Montereale's Osservatorio Astronomico (682 meters), let Honey and Teddi out of the hatch and started hiking.  A gravel and concrete road winds around the hillside to about 1000 meters, where you turn left on a trail through a wooded section  Later you exit the woods and follow a grassy/rocky path up to Casera Rupeit (1275 meters).  The pups and I continued ascending, as the trail skirts around the cliffs of Pala d'Altei's western end and finally crests a small pass (1411 meters) dividing Zuccul Forador from the forest descending steeply down to Valcellina and Lago di Barcis.  You can climb up to the top of Pala d'Altei (1528 meters) if you wish but the girls and I were beat so we headed down.  Honey did a great job retracing our path, even finding some smooth bypasses around places where I had gone directly over rock piles. Nothing like being outsmarted by a 12 pound pooch.  

Great hike with glorious clear, calm weather and wonderful hiking companions.



Lago di Ravedis from trail around 900 meters.

Beautiful Zuccul Forador about 1400 meters

Pala dAltei (on left) from the southwest 

Monte di Mezzo (1425 meters)

Close up of Pala d'Altei's cliff face from the west

Monte Fortel (1436 meters)

Monte I Cameroni (1470 meters)

From the pass looking northeast across Valcellina gorge at
Monte Ressetum in the distance

The trail junction by the little pass

Pala d'Altei from the north: no cliffs on this side

Teddi resting from her ascent

Honey rearing to go, as always

Pala d'Altei from Casera Rupeit to the south (cliffs in the distance)

View from Casera Rupeit of Monte Raut, Jouf, Fara,
with Julian Alps on the horizon




Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Val Postegae MTB

Nippy morning- a few degrees above freezing.  I took Marilyn to get some blood tests, then brought her home and decided to drive to Cimolais instead of riding from Giais.   After parking I pedaled up the beautiful road along Torrente Cimoliana to the turnoff for Rifugio Pordenone.  Instead of turning toward the rifugio I continued straight on the gravel path to Casera Meluzzo, a shelter in a gorgeous wooded, grassy valley like the Ponderosa.  The valley turns east and becomes the gravel riverbed of Torrente Postegae.  Eventually the gravel path ended and the CAI trail appeared to head up along the lower slopes of Cima Brica.  But I was done  climbing for the day so I took some photos of Monte Pramaggiore (2478 meters) and turned back to the car.  Fun descent along the gravel and dirt road.  This area is a must see for anyone in or near Pordenone Province.   


Monte Castellato (2336 meters)

Pala Grande (2385 meters)

Towers peaking over the corner of Cima Meluzzo 

Looking up Val Monfalcon

From Val Postegae looking back at the
 forest of campanili along the horizon

Looking east up Val Postegae toward
Monte Pramaggiore, dusted with snow