Friday, September 30, 2011

Pian dei Buoi

Pian dei Buoi is a lovely meadowy area on the shoulders of the Marmarole Group above Lozzo di Cadore, with fantastic views of surrounding peaks.

I left early and arrived around 0800 at Lozzo di Cadore (753m) on the Piave River north of Longarone.  The climb starts almost immediately, but luckily I lost my way and warmed-up briefly riding around the town.  The initial section is not too steep, and many people were taking their morning walks on this pleasant narrow lane through the forest.

Soon the road steepens to 7-10%.  Felt great in the cool morning air- really a wonderful climb.  It continued like this for around 10km, until the deteriorating road surface gives out completely and it becomes a dirt road at 1700 meters.  Still it's rideable with a skinny-tired road bike- no problems.

Now the road enters the beautiful rolling meadows of Pian dei Buoi (Plain of Oxen).  I continued on the dirt road a bit further until the trailhead for Rifugio Ciareido, where a family of asini were enjoying their sunny morning.  The dirt road reportedly continues for another 6 km to Col Vidal (1880m), a pre-WW I fortress said to have spectacular 360-degree views.  I'll have to try to reach the end of the road next year, as I was in a hurry to get home for a prior commitment.

The descent was quite rough- can't get up much speed because of bad pavement, drainage channels, narrowness and twistiness.  But the ascent and scenery are so good it makes the descent worth enduring.  I'll certainly be returning in 2012.

Monte Antelao (3264m)

Marmarole Group (2932m)

Monte Ciareido (2504m)

Pian dei Buoi meadows and distant mountains to northeast

Mountains to north

Mt Sorapiss (3205m)

Asino family
Fluffy baby asino

Baby asino's fluffy ears

Lower part of climb from Lozzo di cadore

Upper climb to Pian dei Buoi

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