Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pala Barzana - Orton

After a week of rain I was eager to hit the road on this sunny morning.  Unfortunately while it was raining down here, it was snowing in the mountains,  and I read it was accumulating down as low as 800 meters.  So I decided to stay low, and do a series of medium/small climbs rather than one tall peak.

It was quite chilly out, but nice and warm inside the 4 km tunnel to Barcis.  I headed up the hill toward Pala Barzana.  They've patched up the worst parts of the road, including a one-foot vertical slump above Bosplans- that used to be a pain.  Luckily there was no snow all the way to 855 meters.  The views of snowy Monte Raut directly above me, and the mountain range above the west escarpment of Val Cellina were glorious.

I descended the curvy road toward Poffabro more slowly than usual- lots of damp leaves in the curves.  The streams and torrenti were churning with white water- quite noisy.

After Poffabro I descended down Val Muié to Navarrons, and then crossed the Meduna.  Saw 3 eagles along this road, a large one only 20 meters or so away. After Lago di Tramonti I turned right on the road toward Campone.  This road climbs through the lovely gorge of Torrente Chiarzò for maybe 10km- very peaceful place.  After a bit of climbing you reach Piani di Clauzetto at 675 meters.

Then a short fast descent to Pradis di Sotto and the climb to Orton begins- tornanti through dense beech tree forest, engulfed in orange leaves backlit by brilliant sunlight.  At Orton are open meadows with spectacular views of snowy mountains to the north and west.  Directly above stands Monte Pala, covered with fir trees.  The actual high point on this climb is at Cristo- 723 meters.

From there a steep descent to Clauzetto.  The road through town was closed for repair, so I headed down the fast sweeping tornanti to Vito d'Asio.  Shortly after I turned on the small road to Celante.  This is a very narrow road, rough, covered with leaves, branches etc.  But it's heavily forested, and not too steep.  Riding through here I remembered Marilyn and I taking Sunday afternoon walks with our terrier Rocky on these roads when we lived in Castelnuovo ('94-'96).  Good times.

This little lane eventually joined the curvy main road below Clauzetto to Travesio.  Torrente Cosa was roaring with rain runoff.

Now on the flats I bore down and rode as fast as I could all the way home- the pups were waiting for my return!

This is a great ride, with possible variations.  You could add Meduno- Monte Valinis-Campone in the middle, or Monte Prat at the end.


Pala Barzana to Lago di Tramonti

Piani di Clauzetto-Orton


1 comment:

  1. Once again, Bill, another exhilarating ride for you. I can't wait myself to get back on a bike.

    Happy Trails to You.