Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Passo di Sant'Osvaldo

Another favorite local ride- up beautiful Valcellina to Passo di Sant'Osvaldo.  A few minutes after leaving home I arrived in Montereale- here I took a left up the hill toward Barcis.  I passed alongside the new lake behind Ravedis Dam, then entered the 4km tunnel under Monte Fara, emerging at the turnoff for Andreis and the climb to Pala Barzana.

After a couple more tunnels I arrived at Lake Barcis, another beautiful blue-green lake surrounded by mountains.  Here's another great side trip- left across the bridge to the climb to Piancavallo via Val Caltea.  Continuing through the village of Barcis, I passed a little suspension bridge on the left  which leads to another short but pretty climb- Val Pentina.  The main road continues along the white water of Torrente Cellina, where today I saw two lovely dark gray herons fishing in the river.  A bit farther I passed a turnoff to the left for Val Prescudin (see picture below).  I haven't ridden this yet, but I saw a TeleFriuli program called Sentiera Natura, where some Corpo Forestale guys drove up to end of pavement and hiked up Monte Medol- really beautiful.  I'll try to ride it this summer.  After Contron the new suspension bridge appears to be almost completed- this may lead to another good hike or MTB ride (I'll check it out).

A little further on I reached the turnoff for Claut, a nice village with some interesting hikes nearby.  Continuing on the main road, I ascended the piney slope of Pinedo to Cimolais.  Now the actual climb begins- a few kilometers and I was surrounded by deep snow and fir trees at 827 meters.  You can proceed over the pass to Erto and Vajont Dam (where a tremendous landslide in 1963 caused a tsunami which wiped out the town of Longarone) and continue down to the Piave River.   Instead, I turned around and rode home fast as possible.  At Malnisio another carnevale parade was getting started, with a giant Shrek head float- quite frightening.

The side road up Val Prescudin

Monte Messer (2230 m) up Val Prescudin

New suspension bridge over Torrente Cellina above Contron

Snow along road at Passo di Sant'Osvaldo

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