Friday, March 15, 2013

Monte Cuarnan

Our rainy days were blown away last night by the Bora, unfortunately dropping our temps to near 0℃ and blowing strongly all through today's ride.  Non c'è male though; any day on your bike is a good day.
I left early, riding up through Pinzano and Trasaghis to Gemona.  The toughest part of the ride was climbing up through Gemona- very steep streets with dead ends and one-ways to make you double track after you've struggled up a street.  I finally found Via Cappucchini and Via Gieseute, which traverse across the mountain to the start of climb, Via Foredor.  These first few kilometers are very dolce climbing, allowing me to recover from Gemona.  The sweetness gets a bit steeper later, until you reach a little box canyon connecting Monte Chiampon and Monte Cuarnan.  This traverses to the steeper Monte Cuarnan climb, with metal drainage channels every few meters.  It got quite cold here despite exertion.   The normally silent forest was hit by a wind blast every few minutes, which sounded like a freight train blowing through the trees.  Up around 800 meters started running into patches of ice and snow but was able to get through till about 950 meters.  Here the road was snowed over, and even a mountain biker whom I'd passed on the hill earlier was struggling.  He eventually gave up and started walking his bike up to the malga.
The descent was freezing cold, despite going slow to avoid ice, bunny hop channels, etc.  I turned off the main road and took Via Baldo, a very steep street with drainage channels.  I was trying to find the road to Artegna, but got a little lost and finally spotted it in the distance from a cliffside.  This is a great road, much nicer than the busy route from Trasaghis.  I continued through Buia and Majano then across the Tagliamento to Cornino and back down through Pinzano.  Luckily the Bora was to my back now  and I got to rest a bit.  Great ride!    

Monte Chiampon (1709 meters, left) and
Monte Curnan (right) across the Tagliamento

The mountains beyond Tolmezzo from 950 meters

Prealpi Carniche in background,
Monte Brancot, foreground

Prealpi Carniche stretching further to the west;
in left background you can see Monte Ragogna by the river

Monte Chiampon towering above 950m clearing
on Monte Cuarnan

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