Saturday, November 27, 2010

Monte Ragogna da San Rocco

Yesterday the previsione called for 20 cm of snow at 300 meters.  Luckily, the snow stayed above 400-500 meters, while at 300 meters we only got a little slush.

So today I stayed low to avoid the snow.  The temps were about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, but it was sunny without much wind- very fine weather.  I headed over to Pinzano, crossed the Tagliamento, and climbed up to San Rocco.  Here starts the short but steep climb up Monte Ragogna.  It is an unusual mountain- it sits alone on the east bank of the Tagliamento, like a miniature Rock of Gibraltar.  In the build up to World War I, underground munitions warehouses, artillery emplacements, and fortifications were burrowed within the rocky massif.   There are numerous signs explaining historic sites throughout the area.

To the climb: after a gentle rise along the bank of the Tagliamento passing the restored castello di Ragogna, the road heads upward steeply.  I stood on everything above 10%, including a stretch of over a kilometer.  Lungs felt great- maybe the cold dry air is helping?  The road is covered by fir trees, with brief glimpses through the trees of the junction of Arzeno and Tagliamento rivers, the foothills of Castelnuovo, Monte Prat and Monte Cuar to the northwest, and San Daniele to the east.  The road was pretty clear up to 400 meters, though snow caught in the fir tree limbs was dropping snowballs on me now and then.  Higher up the snow covered the road in stretches, though it was not deep enough to be impassable.

After the high point (495 meters), the sheer descent to Muris begins.  I held the brakes through the snow on the upper part, and as the road cleared below, I got up some speed on the straights before the inevitable sharp bends.  In this section there were great views to the north of Gemona and Monte Chiampon.   From Muris I rode back to San Rocco and headed home.  Felt great cruising on the long flat from Lestans, Sequals, Arba, Campagna, and Montereale to Giais.

The Tagliamento full of rain runoff

West toward Pinzano

Castelnuovo, note our rented house from 1994-1996

To the north, Monte Chiampon above Gemona

Gradient of Monte Ragogna

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