Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sella Chianzutan

Coldest day of the year so far but the sun is spectacular and I couldn't resist.  I headed through Pinzano, up the switchbacks to Anduins and then into the gorge of Val Arzene.  The road was closed to traffic by a landslide before you reach Pielungo, so I tried scrambling over the debris carrying my bike.  An Italian hunter asked if I was trying cyclocross instead of bici di corsa and I laughed and agreed.  

I continued to San Francesco where the climb begins.  The road emerges from the shady narrow gorge into bright sunlight with roaring white water of Torrente Arzene in the canyon below-  wonderful scenery.  Higher up you begin a series of switchbacks through snowy beech forest.  It finally reaches the sella, flanked by the peaks of Monte Verzegnis and Monte Piombada.

I froze on the descent and only warmed up a little when I reached the rollers near Pinzano.  By the time I rode through Lestans I was beat and struggled the rest of the way home.  Very glad to have a hot bath and coffee when I got home.      

Monte Piombada (1744m)

Beautiful ice sculptures along the climb

Close-up of ice fall

Rounded shapes of ice formed around a plant's branches

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