Saturday, July 10, 2010

Monte Pizzoc da Sarone

Last month I climbed Monte Pizzoc (1567 meters) from Vittorio Veneto , but the top was engulfed in clouds. Today it was clear so I headed back, changing the climb starting point to Sarone (48 meters) instead of Vittorio Veneto.

This approach is much more exposed to the sun on the lower section, so even though I left home at 0620 , it was already hot while climbing. Fortunately it's quite shady higher up, so I survived. After cresting the climb of Il Cansiglio at La Crosetta (1118 meters), I descended briefly to the starting point for Monte Pizzoc.

The climb begins with a 11% ramp with very broken up pavement. This ends not long later, and it becomes a nice mountain road- a beautiful easy climb through gorgeous beech tree forest. At around 1300 meters you leave the forest and enter treeless alpine pastureland. Wonderful landscape- tufted grass, exposed eroded rock, little circular glacial pools (with lily pads or similar aquatic plants growing on them). The views of surrounding mountains, Piancansiglio, Piave River Valley, and the plain were fantastic, despite the haze.

On the way down, I went by dozens of cyclists headed up the mountain (many on mountain bikes) from La Crosetta where they had parked their cars. Even saw a few guys climbing up from Sarone/Caneva. A couple of the guys looked old enough to be my father. I pray I'm fit enough to climb like that when I reach their age.

I took it very easy on the descent and had a great time. Even the remaining climb in the noon heat from Sarone (48 meters) to home (305 meters) didn't spoil the fun. Recommended!

Northwest toward Belluno and surrounding mountains

Pastures and forest of Piancansiglio; background- Monte Cavallo

Lago Revine and the valley toward Valdobbiadene

Vittorio Veneto

The alpine pastures of Monte Pizzoc

Asini hanging out by the watering hole

Exposed eroded dolomite, tufted grass atop Monte Pizzoc

Lovely beech forest on the slopes of Monte Pizzoc

Looking down at the wooded altopiano of Piancansiglio

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