Monday, July 30, 2012

Lago di Val Galina

Got a late start this morning because I had an early morning fasting blood test, so by the time I had breakfast etc it was around 10AM.  I started my ride from Cimolais, up the Val Cellina from our town.  I did a bit of warmup on the easy gradient down to Pineda, then headed up over Passo Sant' Osvaldo (827m), past Erto and Lago Vajont and down to Longarone on the Piave River.  From here I tried a new route along the east bank of the Piave to Provagna and Severzene.  Here you make sharp left turn onto the road for Diga Val Galina.

This road was a pleasant surprise.  The road is well-engineered, nicely paved and kept clean of rockfalls.  It starts in gently rising grassy meadows and soon enters a landscape of rocky cliffs and sparse trees.  The switchbacks are very well designed, with flattish curves at each end to catch your breath, and even-gradients in between.  The road builders must have blasted through many tons of rock during construction to produce such a consistent gradient.  Soon the road enters denser forest with occasional glimpses of surrounding peaks.  In a false flat at 700 meters the diga (dam) road turns left, and the trailhead road begins climbing more steeply.  I was standing in the pedals and breathing very hard on this section, managing to hang on until the road finally leveled off before ending at Monte Dolada trailhead (881m).  

After resting I descended gingerly because of the numerous drainage channels and curves, until 700m where I turned and descended to the dam (679m).  I was happy to see the dam could be crossed on my bike- so I gave it a try.  The roadway is about 3 meters wide, with guardrails on both sides.  I stayed on the lake side of the road, because the precipitous drop on the downstream side made me dizzy.  Really wonderful views from here of the surrounding high peaks.  I then climbed back up to 700m and descended the lovely road back to Severzene.

This is a wonderful little climb, and almost completely deserted, even in high season July-August.  The whole time I saw one hiker and later one little car.  Peaceful, relaxing ride.    

Spiz Galina (1545m) from Soverzene

Close up of Spiz Galina from the climb 

Sentiero Naturalistico Monte Dolada sign above
Lago di Val Galina  (881m)

Spiz Galina and Monte Toc (1921m)  

Monte Toc, left, and Cima Sora il Ciot (2318m) right

Col Mat (1981m), center, and Monte Dolada (1938m), right

Col Nudo (2471m) crowned by clouds

Lovely switchback cut through notch in rocky cliffs

The ride from Cimolais to Longarone and Soverzene

Close up of climb to Lago di Val Galina

3.5 km of 7.5% up to lake turn-off

1.5 km of 9.1% up to the Monte Dolada trailhead

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