Sunday, March 6, 2011

Monte Rest 2011

The ride up Val Meduna and Val Viellia to Monte Rest is one of my favorite local climbs.  After the warmup ride to Meduno, you climb a series of rolling hills, and then arrive at Lago del Tramonti.  Besides the beautiful ride along the shore of this blue-green lake surrounded by mountains, you have the option of taking several side climbs:
Val Muie, Lago Cà Selva,  Val Chiarzo, and Canal di Cuna.

But today I stayed on the main road, continued up through Tramonti di Sotto and Tramonti di Sopra and started the climb proper at Ponte Val Viellia.  There was a Road Closed sign, but I figured I'd go as high as I could and turn around.  Other than some branches and fallen rocks the road was fine.

Continued up a couple of dozen tornanti through beautiful forest, silent except for the whitewater  of Torrente Viellia in the gorge below, and numerous small waterfalls on the creeks crossing the road.  Lots of erica, primule, violete and bucaneve on the sunlit roadsides.

There was a little snow along the road above 800 meters, which gradually increased until there were stretches of snow-too-deep-to-ride in the shady southern hairpins.  I hopped off and walked to reach the next sunny dry stretch, but after repeating this a couple of times, even the sunny parts were snowed over.  I stopped at 963 meters, and started donning my cold gear for the descent.  A group of crossscountry skiers arrived, descending from Passo Monte Rest, then took off their skis and continued on foot when they reached the snow-free pavement.  

The ride home was pretty uneventful except for the carnevale parades.  In the country towns they make floats (carri) on wagons which a tractor pulls around.  I passed a number of these, quite harrowing on some of the narrower roads on cliffs above the lake.  Then when I reached Maniago hundreds of costumed people where wandering toward the piazza for the parade.  Clowns and witches seem quite popular this year.

Monte Valcalda, 1908 m, to east

Monte Rest, 1780 m, to north

Primule, violete and bucaneve

Cliffs rising from roadside (730 m) straight up to 1400 m 

Can't go any higher than 963 m
Crosscountry skiers coming down from the pass

Gradient from Tramonti di Sotto to 963 m

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