Saturday, April 27, 2013

Col Alto

The weather forecast called for rain all morning but at sunrise skies were clear.  I hurriedly dressed and hopped on my bike, but by the time I left home clouds had moved in and temperatures dropped.  I resolved to ride anyway and turn back when the rain commenced.  After a 6 km warm-up to Pedemonte I headed up Via Piancavallo, virtually deserted now that ski season's over.  This long climb gains over 1200 meters of elevation in 14.5 km, vying with Zoncolan for biggest altitude gain in Friuli.  At Castaldia (1100 m) I turned off for Col Alto and traversed through alpine grassland.  Around 1200 meters I was surprised to see patches of snow, which I rode through until a deep section stopped me dead and I fell into the soft snow.  From then on whenever I hit a snowy stretch I dismounted and walked across.  Finally in the beech forest at 1314 meters the snow cover continued as far as I could see, so I turned around.  My brakes were iced up so I descended very slowly at first, but soon they thawed and it was fast and fun as usual.  It never did rain while I was riding, but started shortly after I returned to Giais. 

End of the line today at 1314 meters

Beech forest (also a spruce) 1300 meters

Frozen alpine pond at 1200 meters

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