Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pani di Raveo - Forca di Pane

A few kilometers up the Tagliamento valley from Tolmezzo and Villa Santina lies Enemonzo.  In the mountains above the town there are large cleared pasturelands called Pane.  This ride climbs up through the Pani, over Forca di Pane, and down through the forest to Ampezzo.

I started from Enemonzo, but I would recommend starting in Villa Santina for a warm up.  I was worried about crossing the bridge over Torrente Degana, which was under construction last time I was here, and was very narrow and busy.  But they've finished widening it (just in time for the Giro d'Italia).

The climb almost immediately sustains 9-10% for a half km on the way up to Colza.  Again after Tartinis at the 2.5 km point, another km of 9-10% average grade.  Around 700m there's a bit of 13.8% average.  All this effort is worthwhile though- the  scenery is gorgeous: forest, meadows, surrounding peaks.

Around 800 meters I was climbing steeply up meadows to a dairy, Casolare Astona, when a German shepherd ran toward me.  I jumped off on the other side in case he attacked but his owner called and he retreated.  But it was too steep/narrow to restart so I walked  up a few meters to the barn driveway.  Now a lovely black Belgian shepherd arrived and was very friendly.  I remounted and continued climbing.

The next 1.5km of 13.3% climb a steep series of tornanti,  topping out at 1005m.  Beautiful views here of Pani di Raveo meadows.  A sign pointed to a rifugio on a road to the right and a road to the left.  The left also mentioned Forca di Pane, my objective.  After reviewing the Ediciclo guide book, I think they mean you to go right to end of pavement at 1030m.  So next time, I'll try that.

I continued upward steeply through the forest.  The road surface deteriorates along this stretch to loose asphalt and pebbles, but not too bad- just be careful when unweighting the rear wheel while standing.   Finally reached the pass Forca di Pane at 1116m, and stopped to put on my windjacket because it was chilly though sunny.

The descent passes through beautiful forest with occasional views of the peaks above and beyond Ampezzo.  This road is very steep- I just held the brakes tightly because the surface was loose and I wasn't sure what lay ahead.  Eventually I reached the infamous tornanti, which are very steep and convoluted.  No problem descending, but I doubt I could climb these- maybe in  a few years.

Finally you ride through Voltois, a tiny mountain settlement, and continue steeply to the bridge over the Torrenti Lumiei.  From here there are more switchbacks climbing up the shady side of the gorge to  Ampezzo.  Here you join the main highway, and ride the rollers down to Enemonzo.

This is a wonderful ride, and I'd like to repeat it.  Maybe after Pani di Raveo I'll try the dirt road down to Raveo village- sounds like a fun variation.

Mt Zampin (1442m) above meadows and woods
Mt Zampin close up

Pani di Raveo

Looking across the Lumiei gorge at Passo del Pura, flanked by
Mt Tinisuta (2080m) and Mt Nauleni (1790m) 

A few of the crazy-steep tornanti above Voltois

Ampezzo, looking up the Tagliamento valley toward
mountains separating Friuli from the Piave River

Steepest bits of the climb to Pani di Raveo

The steep 1.5km above Casolare Astona: average 13.3% 

I rode the Forca di Pane downhill- 5.28km average 12% grade,
with much +20%

The initial climb from Enemonzo

Continuing up to Pani di Raveo

After Forca di Pane the vertiginous descent
to Voltois and Ampezzo

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