Friday, September 21, 2018

Percorso Circolare Santuario Part Deux

Revisiting this nearby trail network to figure out where it goes.  This time I avoided climbing backwards up the super cross jumps and instead pushed the bike up Via Crucis (stations of the cross). This arrives at Madonna del Monte where I pedaled briefly until the trail plunges into the Torrente Aga ravine.  No water this dry autumn day so I carried the bike without getting wet.  Eventually I climbed out and mostly pushed the bike on the very rocky narrow trail.

Finally arrived in grassy fields and found a lovely flower garden someone has planted out here.  More climbing in low gear until I reached the trail junction where I rejoined the PCS last time I was here.  The trail meanders around westward, even arriving at Via Piancavallo highway, which I luckily chose not to bail out on.  Luckily because the trails get even better, with saliscendi, open pastures I’ve never seen before and a sweet approach to Colle San Giorgio.  After the abandoned village I took the wide gravel road down to the bridge and headed home.  Great trails just a couple of km from home I’ve just begun to explore.

Start of via crucis/stations of the cross

Madonna del Mont

Pala Fontana

Toward Piancavallo


Beautiful garden along PCS trail

Tree carving near San Giorgio

Looking north toward ruins of San Giorgio

Sunlit window of ruins

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pietratagliata MTB

Several of the prettiest climbs in Friuli are in the northeast corner where Italy, Austria and Slovenia come together.  One of these is the climb from Pietratagliata along Fiume Fella up to the timber and  pasture land above high above.  I heard about it from, a great site with tons of climbs around here.  At first I tried to start from Dogna, but that was a dead end.  So I hopped back in the car and headed up SS13 to Pietratagliata and crossed the Fella again on a half- suspension bridge.  The road begins ascending immediately and continues without a break up 12 long tornanti, with a of couple hundred meters-long tunnel to boot.  The top is gorgeous fir tree forest, opening into grassland sun.  I had to turn around for time's sake but next time I'll try to make the loop down to Sompdogna to complete the adventure.  

Panorama of peaks along Austrian border

Gravel road continuing east

Beautiful marker at cabin

All but the last km is paved

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Above Panuch MTB

After warming up with the ride to Lago Ca’Selva I headed steeply up to Panuch, a headland high above the lakeshore.  Normally I turn back home at this point, but today I continued up the steep gravel road toward Monte Raut.  The road is surprisingly good, though I did have to walk up a few loose sections.  This continued up to 1120 meters where a recently poured concrete section was still wet.  I turned around and returned the same way.  I’ll try again next Spring.

Val Silesia
End of the climb today

The climb

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Giais MTB

Short ride through the corn and soybean fields covering the countryside south of our village.  The gravel roads are flat and very easy to cruise on.   Eventually I arrived back on the paved bike path toward home.  Very relaxing.

The aqueduct supporting arch below our village.
In the early 1900s it carried water from Lake Barcis
to the hydropower plant below Giais

The other half of the bridge
carrying two giant water pipes

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Above Val Salega Bike/hike

After a long warm up through Sarmede, steeply up to Mantaner (wrong turn) and Osigo, this adventure starts along the highway from Vittorio Veneto to Il Cansiglio at Val Salega.  Turn left, duck under the barrier and walk your bike up the concrete road (pedal if you’re on a MTB).  I brought the road bike because of the long approach and return, and I knew I’d be pushing the heavy MTB most of the way up.  The hike continues steeply for a couple of km then turns to grassy saliscendi, much of it rideable.  There are a few back country houses in the area, but none occupied on this September weekday.  I was trying to reach the road connecting to Pizzoc/La Crosetta but couldn’t find it.

So I retraced my route back down to the highway, continued up to turn off for picnic area.  This gravel road connects with Via Patriarchi, which in turn connects with La Crosetta-Sarone road.  Long ride home from Palu, but took it easy and made it.

Concrete road turning off from Vittorio Veneto highway

Almost too steep even to descend
with disc brake road bike

Two big eagles flew away when I approached this house

Concrete road from Val Salega

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Monte Tomatico MTB

Monte Tomatico is a monumental climb but less well known and less crowded than others.
I tried it last year on my lightest road bike and ended up walking the steepest stretches.  So today I took the MTB and things went better.  Still wanted badly to stop and rest or walk at times but I resisted the temptation.  After the hardest bits I knew I could finish, nothing could stop me now.

Then in the distance I heard a loudspeaker, maybe a reunion or something.  It grew closer and I recognized a prayer, then I scaled another corkscrew and arrived at mass, right in the middle of the road.  The priest was on a little knoll with a tree trunk.  I stopped and waited until end of the service, trying not to disturb anyone.  Everyone stayed and chatted awhile then one of the alpini asked if I wanted to pass and I weaved through the group on foot, then remounted.   The steepness resumed immediately, as bad as ever until finally pavement ends and you begin climbing less steeply on gravel.

I reached the cattle gate where I had turned around last year and continued on up another half km or so, then headed back down.  Much more fun descending on MTB.  Near the bottom I encountered the first other bikers, 3 MTBers.  Will try this again next year and try descending on the other side.

View west from near the top

Southwest toward Fiume Brenta 
The tree shrine where priest held mass

Closer view


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Zoncolan da Sutrio MTB

I intended to climb from Sutrio to Ravescletto, then up to Zoufplan and down through Pian delle Streghe.  Alas, I was a bit sleepy and rode up toward Zoncolan by mistake.  By the time I realized it I was already enjoying the climb so I went with the flow.  At the ski area parking I looked for a MTB trail down to Ravescletto but no luck.  I headed upward.

The upper climb is tougher but not bad on a MTB.  At the pass a large American tour group was hollering and whooping as riders strugled up the harder west side.  I rode higher up and took some fotos.  Fun descent and drive home.  Will try Zoufplan again soon.

Zoufplan, the high ridge I intended to climb 

Views west from the gravel road above the pass at Zoncolan 

The climb,with a bit of flat exploring
 at the skier parking area

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Percorso Circolare Santuario MTB

Another newly discovered ride right out our backdoor.  Just after Costa turn right on gravel road, continue to bridge, cross and turn right.  Follow the PCS orange markers.  Don’t follow my example of heading up the steep ride to the rocky trail with numerous jumps; even downhill I would have been walking around these big air jumps.  As it was I pushed/pulled the bike for maybe a km, exhausted. Eventually it moderated and soon joined the paved road for Bornass.  After a brief easy climb I reached the Ornedo bike club marker and turned onto the trail. Before long you join a gravel road and the PCS markers resume.

This was the best part of the ride, nice gradients through the woods eventually leading to the grassy knob of Chiesa San Giorgio and the stone ruins of an abandoned settlement.  Then a fun descent down to the aforementioned bridge and home.  Will try the proper 11 km PCS loop next time.

Santuario Madonna del Monte

Ornedo bike club trails map

A grassy knoll (signed No MTB)

Alpini hiking trail (slitte were big hay sleds)

PCS trail sign

Beautiful grassy meadow

Santuario from near San Giorgio

Costa and Marsure

Many olive trees around San Giorgio

Chiesa San Giorgio