Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Passo di Monte Rest - Sella Chiampon

A favorite ride on a beautiful day.  I cruised to Meduno, over the rollers to Lago Tramonti, and headed up the 10% hill to Tramonti di Sotto.  More rolling hills, then after Tramonti di Sopra the climb proper begins.  Dozens of tornanti, not too steep, with the sounds of white water and bird song to accompany you.  At the top (1060m) it was quite cool, so I put on my wind jacket and headed down the twisty descent.  Rode slowly because of the many rocks, branches, and a few remaining patches of snow.  The only other person I saw on the entire climb/descent, a truck driver in an empty logging truck, asked if there was room to turn around at the passo.  I guess he had to pick up a load and wanted to get pointed in the right direction before loading. 

Finally warmed up when I reached the bottom, about 500m, in sunny Val di Tagliamento.  They've recently paved the road, so nice and smooth.  Now you start another little climb, up Forcella di Priuso to 654m.  Then down to the junction with the main road SS52 below Ampezzo.  Here I turned right, over the rollers to Socchieve, and took another right toward Preone.  

Now you start another climb to Torrente Saezza gorge at 560m.  You descend to the ponte across the river at 530m, then the steep bit begins.  In the next 1.5 km you gain about 200m elevation, up the side of the gorge above the roaring Saezza, averaging 11.6%, with stretches of 18-19%.  This definitely had me panting like a freight train, but I made it to the top.  Now the grade lessens until Sella Chiampon at 789m.   It's a beautiful green valley surrounded by mountains.  At the end the valley narrows, and the road hugs the cliffs above Fiume Arzino.  It's rough but well worth it for the views down the gorge.

At 720m you join SP1 coming down from Sella Chianzutan.  Fast curvy descent along Fiume Arzino gorge to San Franceso.  Now the road becomes flatter, with spectacular views above, below, back and front.  It was quite windy in the gorge but at least it's slightly downgrade most of the way.  At Anduins you descend some nice tornanti, then start a series of rolling hills through Casiacco, Flagogna, Pinzano and Valeriano.  After Lestans the road is more or less flat, but with a headwind.  This next hour I didn't feel like I bonked, but my hamstrings and glutes were very sore.  Several times I coasted while trying to stretch them, which felt better temporarily.  Finally made it home and a hot soak seemed to help.  Hopefully they'll have recovered by Friday for the next climb.

Note: camera battery died after Monte Rest, but I have some pictures of Sella Chiampon from last April here.

Cascade at 650 meters

Monte Tinisa 2080m

Monte Corno 1240m

Monte Corno above Val di Tagliamento 

Mountains to northeast, Val di Tagliamento  

Gradient of Monte Rest, Forcella di Priuso, Sella Chiampon

Clockwise Passo Monte Rest, Sella Chiampon

Close up of Passo Monte Rest climb (bottom) and descent (top)

Close up Sella Chiampon (from top to bottom)


  1. We've had a couple of warm day that brought out the cyclists in fairly large numbers.

    Of course, we followed those warm days up with some days of light, freezing rain and a snow flurry or two. Still, it won't be long until it's warm... then hot and humid.

  2. Sounds good! Except for the freezing rain part, I mean. Brrrr!