Friday, August 5, 2011

Pala Barzana - Monte Valinis - Orton

Today instead of a big climb far away I tried a series of local climbs.  

The first is Pala Barzana (842m).  I rode from home to Montereale, up through the tunnels and into a fog bank near the turnoff for Andreis.  It had been clear and sunny only moments before at Montereale and Lago Ravedis.  Ascended along Torrente Alba, which was surprisingly full of white water from all the rain.  Usually this time of year most streams are reduced to a trickle.  I continued climbing through Bosplans, and finally around 700m the sun burnt through the fog.  Through the trees I could see a sea of fog in the valley below.  Topping the pass, I headed down the twisty curves through beautiful spruce forest.  This wonderful area is only minutes by car from home.

Eventually I reached Poffabro, then descended down Val Muié, through Navarons to Torrente Meduna.  I climbed out of the gorge and rode the rolling hills to Meduno (320m).  Here starts the second climb, up to Monte Valinis at 970 meters. 

This is a great climb, starting with switchbacks up to Borgo del Bianco, then ascending along lovely open meadows, finally reaching the ridge at 630m.  After a bit, you turn upward through a dense stand of tall spruce trees, like columns in a cathedral.  Sunlight filtering through the boughs high above, like shafts of light through stained-glass completes the effect.  This section of the climb is steep- gaining 250 meters in 2.5 km.  Higher up it eases somewhat, till end of pavement at Forchia Tamer (940m).  Passing through the cow gate you can continue up a rough gravel road to the edge of the precipice where parapendio gliders leap off.  Colorful wildflowers and butterflies cover the alpine meadows.  

I descended to the ridge line, and then turned right toward Campone.  This is a terrible descent with loose pavement, rocks, very steep.  But the views are great, and you soon reach the bottom, joining the main road through Campone (430m).  It's a pretty town at the base of Monte Celant, stretching along Torrente Chiarzó.  At the end of town starts another little climb, up to Piani di Clauzetto (675m).  It's not too steep, with lots of stream crossings.

From the Piani you descend to Pradis di Sotto (528m, big cave here) and then begins the last climb of the day, Orton, with high point just outside of town at Cristo (723m).  This is a scenic road through meadows, then a large stand of thick-trunked beech trees.  Rough descent to Clauzetto, then great twisties down Val Cosa to Travesio.

More or less flat from here to Sequals, Arba, Campagna, and home.  I messed up and corrupted the file while downloading from my Garmin, but I remember seeing it was 104 km in about 6 hours, with 1950 meters of climbing.  

Monte Raut from Borgo del Bianco, above Meduno

Close up Monte Raut above Poffabro

Over the pass at Pala Barzana- the bigger mountains west
of Val Cellina

Torrente Meduna near Cavasso Nuovo

View northeast from Monte Valinis

Monte Celant 1093m

Monte Pala 1226m

View of meadows Monte Valinis

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