Friday, March 4, 2011

Sella Chianzutan da Val d'Arzino

Lovely ride into snowy mountains today.  After a long ride to Pinzano, I headed north to Casiacco, then up the tornanti to Anduins.  Here you enter the narrow gorge of Fiume Arzino.  It's a wonderful place, surrounded by mountains, with the white water of the river far below providing background music.  The road gently climbs through forests along the edge of the gorge, with splashes of early Spring wildflowers everywhere.

As you climb you pass several side climbs, Pielungo-OrtonVal d'Arzino-Monte Prat, and Sella Chiampon-Monte Rest.  I noticed the turn-off for Val Preone has been reopened, so they must have cleared the landslides on the way to Selle Chiampon.

The road eventually turns away from Val d'Arzino, starting a series of long 9-10% tornanti snaking up the snowy beech-covered slope.  Finally the forest opens into wide snow-covered meadows, flanked by mountains on both sides.  I turned around at this point, where the road heads downward toward Tolmezzo.  When I left home this morning I thought I'd continue onward, but I was already beat and chose to take the shorter way back.  The ride home seemed very long.

View of Forgaria (town halfway up Monte Prat),
with snowy east peak of Monte Cuar in background

Lovely waterfall on  roadside stream

Bucaneve (snowdrops) along the road

Fiume Arzino's very narrow gorge

 Fiume Arzino sunlit turquoise water

Monte Flagjel 1467 m, east of river valley

Snowy meadows, Monte Arvenis to north

Monte Piombada 1744 m looking east

Monte Verzegnis 1914 m looking west
MonteValcalda 1908 m and Monte Rest 1780 m
looking southwest 

Grade from Pinzano to Sella Chianzutan

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