Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Passo di Pampeago - Passo di Lavazè

Alpe di Pampeago has seen 5 Giro d'Italia finishes, including wins by Marco Pantani and Gilberto Simoni.  Roman Kreuzeger's win in the 2012 Giro was a bit different, because instead of ending at the ski area parking area (1763m), the road had recently been paved all the way up to Passo di Pampeago (1996m).  When I saw the stage I wanted to go check it out.

It was very overcast and raining steadily as I drove from Agordo to Moena- I almost turned around but decided I'd drive to see Cavalese and Val Fiemme if nothing else.  But as I continued through Predazzo the overcast brightened a bit, and shortly after I parked at Cavalese blue sky started peeking through.

I traversed from Cavalese (1010m) along the mountainside to Tesero (987m), where I turned left and began the Passo di Pampeago climb.  The first 4 km up to the junction for Passo di Lavazè at 1277m averages 7.4%, with much 9-12%.  Now I was definitely warmed up despite the cool temps, and tossed my windjacket into my zainetto.  The next stretch is the most difficult: 5 km of 11.5%, with much 13-14%.  It's a straight road, no switchback ends to catch your breath in, no less-steep spots, only more of the same.  Even 3 short tunnels maintain the gradient.  As you pass Alpe di Pampeago ski area, the grade finally drops to 10%.  Now you begin the newly paved road winding up through the ski slopes.  Around 2000 meters the road levels out, and then begins to descend.

The descending road deteriorates somewhat as it descends more steeply through fir forest, then you enter the upper slopes of another ski area and the pavement is new again.  You descend quite steeply past a ski area, and then a wide paved road continues plummeting down to Obereggen (1561m).  I turned left toward Novale and dropped further to 1276m.  Here you turn left onto the main road for Passo di Lavazè, climbing 3 km through dense fir and larch forest at 10% average gradient, followed by 3 more kilometers of tornanti averaging 8%  It levels out at 1808 meters in pastureland.  On a whim I turned right toward Passo degli Oclini, an easy 4 km climb to 1989m.  More pretty green pastures and some rocky summits.

Back at Lavazè I descended rapidly down  to Cavalese.  Though it wasn't yet 11 AM there were already traffic jams of tourists here.  Time to get outta Dodge.    

Looking back down the Alpe di Pampeago climb from 2000 meters

Promontory north of Passo di Pampeago

Capitello at Passo di Pampeago

Monte Latemar (2842m)

View from Passo degli Oclini

Corno Nero (2439m) at Oclini

Close up Corno Nero with grazing cattle

View toward Cavalese from Passo di Lavazè

Counterclockwise: traverse from Cavalese and climb to Alpe di Pampeago

Counterclockwise climb to Passo di Pampeago, descent to Obereggen, down to Rauch,
then climb to Passo di Lavazè

The side road to Passo degli Oclini and descent to Cavalese

11.5% average gradient for 5.3km; the oddity at km 12 
is GPS reacquiring satellite after a tunnel 


  1. Hi - just to say thank you for all the work you put into your . My family and I have just returned from three weeks cycling and your routes were invaluable to us. We were based in Vittorio and we all thought the valley the most beautiful area to cycle on earth - non-stop 360 degree panoramas of outstanding beauty. Rode all the major climbs in the area and ventured into the .

    We have already booked for next year, such a variety of cycling, such a beautiful area and most importantly such wonderful friendly people. The only thing extra i would like to do next year is ride with a cycling club based in Vittorio . Do you know if this is possible and who I could contact. My wife and I are going there for a week in February to check out for next year as we would like to stay for an extended period.

    Once again thank you for all you efforts.

    Very best regards

    John Jackson
    New Forest, England
    01590 683815

  2. Thank you for your kind words. I've been helped so much by online friends like Angel at Italian Cycling Journal, Jerry of Cycloclimbing and others that I'm trying to pass the help forward.

    The big bike club in Vittorio Veneto is GC Meschio. Some of the group rides are quite fast, but I often see some of the fellows out riding at an easier pace too. They definitely are experts on all the local climbs and giri. You can contact them here: http://www.gcmeschio.it/contatti.html

  3. I should clarify that CG Meschio are located in Caneva, but ride extensively in VV area.

    1. Thank you for the information, I will make contact with GC Meschio. I just can't wait to get back, this was my 15th holiday in Italy and I have finally found my garden of Eden.

      Once again, thank you for all your work, it is really appreciated.