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