Thursday, April 25, 2013

Monte Rest - Sella Chiampon

Beautiful Spring day.  I rode up through Val Meduna to the start of the Monte Rest  climb.  This is one of the best climbs around here- well-made road through wilderness with spectacular scenery.  I was startled to see numerous long strings of caterpillars attached head to tail moving across the road in various places.  Been here many times before but never noticed that.

At the pass (1055 meters) I put on my windjacket and descended.  Lots of fallen rocks this time of year, some as big as my foot.  So descend carefully till they clean the road.  At the Tagliamento River you head steeply upward to Forcella di Priuso 655 meters then descend to SS52, the main road from Tolmezzo to Ampezzo.  

From here to Socchieve and then Preone where the next climb starts.  Val Preone is a very steep road hugging shear cliffs above the white water river below.  I made it to about 700 meters and had to stop to hyperventilate a while.  Luckily I was able to restart and finish the climb, avoiding the ignominy of pushing the bike to the top.

The meadows at Sella Chiampon, are gorgeous, covered with wildflowers and surrounded by mountains.  I continued along the road until I pulled over by a family that had finished hiking.  The man was very kind and advised me about a frane (landslide) ahead.  He thought I could dismount and make it along the narrow edge, but his wife was worried.  As it turned out it was no problem, I rode right along the edge without difficulty.  I'd intended to hike down to Cascate dell'Arzino, but I turned off too soon and ended hiking to the headwaters of the Arzino, maybe 500 meters above the falls.  By then I'd spent too much time and needed to get home, so I'll return to check out the falls later.

The descent down the Arzino gorge to San Francesco and Anduins was wonderful as always.  I was getting tired by now and despite plenty of sweet tea, fig bars, dates and almond-butter balls I was running out of steam.  I finally reached home, got in the bath, and promptly fell asleep.  Then Marilyn made me a big bowl of spaghetti, which brought me back to life.  

20-foot long train of caterpillars on Monte Rest climb

Photo doesn't capture how steep this is, but after
grappling up from the river this stretch finished me off 

Beautiful headwaters of Torrente Arzino above the waterfall

Note all the gradient above 10% on Sella Chiampon climb;
the dip at 70 km is where I stopped to "rest"

1 comment:

  1. Bill, I get tired just reading some of these posts.