Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Montemaggiore - Plan del Jof

To celebrate the first day of summer I decided to try a climb in a different area of Prealpi Giulie.  This one's a bit north of Cividale, Matajur and Kolovrat.   It starts at Nimis north of Udine, and quickly transports you to an undeveloped and solitary zone along the Slovenian border.

I left very early and arrived at Nimis at 7AM.  The road signed for Taipana starts very gently, following Torrente Cornappo up its narrow, densely-wooded gorge.  After a few km you turn right, as the main road continues to Monteaperta.  The road to the right follows Rio Gorgons briefly, then crosses it and heads slightly less-gently upward (8%).  At the junction above Taipana (a valley town), you go left toward Montemaggiore.  This next stretch starts out steep (11%), but after a km or so, returns to gentle climbing, even flatness.  Eventually you end up in a little town, Montemaggiore at the end of the road (800m).  A little dog chased me and his owner called him "Cicchi! Lazzarone! (rascal)."  

I retraced my path and passed a turn-off marked Campo di Bonis but was afraid it might be a dead end, so I continued back to the junction for Platischis.  This was a fun descent and ended up at- Campo di Bonis. Then up over another  pass, Sella San Antonio Na Privale (790m).  The narrow but well-paved road descended down a gorge, then through Platischis, a town with a surprising number of houses considering its remoteness.  I don't know how many are inhabited though- possibly many are abandoned. 

Now the road continues descending to the low point, 379m, where a bridge branches across Rio Namlen (head water of Fiume Natisone) to Slovenia.  A sign indicted the road leads to Kobarid, which is good because it could be used to loop back into Italy after other climbs into Slovenia.  From here, the road is one of the gentlest, most constant grades I've ever ridden, almost imperceptibly rising up through the village of Prossenicco (550m) and onward to Plan del Jof at 781m.  Not sure how they did it but it's magical.  This entire stretch of road from Platischis to Plan del Jof is devoid of buildings, even farmhouses, except for the one small borgo di Prossenicco.  It is dense forest, without the sound of tractors or chainsaws- utterly silent except for birdsong and white water.  Really a unique area.

Plan del Jof is a junction in the woods for Canebola-Porzus, Attimis, and Prossenicco.  I was running short of time: needed to drive home (1.5 hrs), do dishes, vac/mop floors, shower, and show the guy from the door company around our house.  So I took the shortest route- to Attimis.  Wonderful switchback descent on smooth pavement.  The multi-colored wildflowers zooming by when sweeping through the tornanti were breathtaking.  After Attimis a little climb over a small pass to Nimis, then to the car and back home. 

If you are in the area definitely try this climb.  You will not regret it.  This blog has some great pics/info on rides in the area:  

http://www.rupikaber.com/2011/04/canebola-porzus-valle-e-madonnina-del.html

Monteaperta across the gorge

Gran Monte above Montemaggiore

Campo di Bonis from road to Montemaggiore

Attimis from near Plan del Jof

The 3 high points

Overall map of ride

Close up Taipana to Montemaggiore,
to Campo di Bonis to Platischis

To Rio Namlen on Slovenian border,
gentle climb to Prossenicco to Plan del Jof

Wonderful descent through Subit to Attimis,
then brief climb to Nimis

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