The climb from Costa (205 meters) starts off very steep, with a kilometer of 10-15% ascent. I was sure that would finish me off after yesterday's climb, but no, I felt great. The grade gets easier then, averaging 5.4% to Bornass. I passed a couple of guys on the moderate climb, and then stopped to take a picture of the gushing white water of the torrente. Then I decided to head on up to Rifugio Bornass (767 meters), intending to turn down to Pedemonte and home. The ride was awesome, and when I got to the Rifugio, I decided instead to try to reach the antenna farm at Castaldia (1090 meters). This 4 km stretch averages 7.5%.
At Castaldia I was still feeling great and decide to try to reach the top, at Collalto (1374 meters). I turned off the main road and enjoyed a beautiful ride through the clouds, alongside little valleys, through faggio forest to the top. The road hits 10-12% percent here and there, but isn't bad. All told the climb is 1175 meters in 20 km, with median gradient 6.5%.
The cloud mist, a bit of light rain, wind and altitude made it quite chilly, so I donned my windjacket, but my fingerless gloves left my fingers frozen. Made braking on the descent difficult, so I need to bring a pair of fingered gloves on the climbs even in summer.
I thought about going down the main road (faster/shorter) but something told me to return the same way. I was immediately rewarded a few hundred meters down the road when two yearling deer crossed the road in front of me and gamboled down the steep slope. Later, I saw something move out the corner of my eye, and turned to see a falcon had landed on a branch a few feet away. Wonderful seeing such a magnificent animal so close up. Still later, a beautiful red squirrel darted across the road and stopped, by the road edge, its tufted ears raised alertly. These things made the descent worth the extra time and distance.
I don't even remember the 200 meter climb home from Costa to home- maybe a touch of hypothermia? But Collalto is a lovely climb and I'll try to do it again soon.
Torrente Ossena above Madonna del Monte
Gradient from Costa to Madonna del Monte