The road was still damp from showers earlier in the morning so I descended quite slowly, particularly through the town of Cibiana di Cadore where people were out and about in the streets. At the bottom of the gorge you cross Ponte sul Boite (774m) and climb fairly steeply to Venas di Cadore (852m). Here you join the main road between Pieve di Cadore and Cortina.
I turned around and climbed back up to Passo Cibiana, with a 4km stretch above Cibiana di Cadore averaging about 10%. Then I descended to Fornesighe (965m) and turned off on the road for Zoppè di Cadore. After a brief traverse to the beautiful hillside villages of Dozza and Bragarezza (930m) you begin the climb to Zoppè.
This was a very surprising road- wide, well-paved, wonderfully-engineered switchbacks. For some reason I'd envisioned a rough, steep, narrow mountain lane. The approach gives ample views of the pretty mountainside town of Zoppè, with the imposing dolomite peak Pelmo (3168m) towering above. At 1470m you reach the top of the town with gorgeous views down the spruce forest-covered valley.
I descended back through Forno di Zoldo, then down to the car by the lake. I definitely want to return and get some photos, because my camera battery died before reaching Zoppè. I'd also like to return to Passo Cibiana and explore a road leading up to Monte Rite (2160m), though I'm uncertain how high the road goes.
|Marmarole viewed on descent from Venas di Cadore to Ponte di Boite|
|Antelao (3264m) from Cibiana di Cadore|
|Panorama to southwest from Cornigan|
|Close up of the mountains to south|
|Close up of Monte Civetta (3220m)|
|Monte Civetta from meadows of Cornigan|
|The mountain backdrop to Cornigan's pastures|
|Lovely flowers Cornigan|
|Forno di Zoldo chiesa on hill above town|
|Climb from Forno di Zoldo to Passo Cibiana|
|Climb from Venas di Cadore to Passo Cibiana|
|Climb to Zoppè di Cadore|
|The "3 summits" (first 2 are opposite sides up the same climb)|
|A view of the 10%-and-above gradients|
|4km stretch of 10% from Cibiana di Cadore to Passo Cibiana|