Thursday, March 31, 2011

Orton - Monte Valinis

Warm sunny day.  Got a late start because I was doing some early landscaping.   Rolled down through Arba and Sequals to Travesio and started the climb for Clauzetto.  Soon the road was closed for work, with the deviazione heading up through Celante.  It's a narrow, steep mountain road through wildflower-covered woods.  Traffic was very light, as everyone opted for the main road through Anduins instead.

Below Domanins I rejoined the road to Clauzetto.  Climbed the switchbacks up the escarpment to 590 meters at Clauzetto, then continued up the mountain road to Orton (723 m).  From here I descended quickly to Gerchia at 530 meters.  The climb from there to Piani di Clauzetto isn't too steep, with lots of weird eroded karst formations, and cute baby goats to watch. At 675 meters, you reach the top, then descend through a pretty valley down to Campone.

Continuing from Campone down Val Chiarzo, you quickly reach the left turn-off at 408 meters.  This is a famously bad/steep road, with sections of 16% grade and a rough roadway with lots of loose rocks and branches.  It's quite a challenge to maintain traction and avoid falling.  The surrounding forest is beautiful if you can steal a glance- beech trees and karst formations.  This finally ends at Forchia Piccola (663 m) where you join the road coming up from Meduno.  Turning left, you immediately head up a steady 10% for several km, through fir and beech trees.  This road is a little better than the first one, and even has a long repaved stretch, where you can fly on the descent.

Pavement ends at 940 meters.  I kept going on the very rough rock road (lots of large stones to thread through and over).  I reached the grassy meadow at end of road, where several cars with hang-gliders and parapendio were parked.  I didn't go to the edge of the cliff to look down, but was quite startled when a parapendio suddenly appeared, riding an updraft straight up from the cliff face.  He tried to land but couldn't lose sufficient altitude to set down, so he said "Noch einmal" (yes, he was close enough to hear) and headed round again.  This time he managed to get his feet on the ground.

I headed carefully down the rocky road, then zoomed down the curvy paved road to Meduno.  The ride home is fairly flat, but there was a bit of headwind to contend with.  Overall a very good workout, with 1486 meters of climbing in 90 km.

Monte Rossa (1369 m) from Orton

Parapendio trying to land on Monte Valinis (around 980 m)

Orton (723 m), Piani di Clauzetto (675 m) and Monte Valinis (988 m)

The gradient to Clauzetto, Orton, Piani di Clauzetto,
and finally Monte Valinis (note 16% stretches)

The detour via Celante to Clauzetto
The climb to Orton, descent to Gerchia, and climb to Piani di Clauzetto

Monte Valinis- note cliffs below end of the road, where
parapendio take off and land

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