Saturday, May 4, 2013

Col Grande

I thought I knew pretty much all the climbs in our area but I was wrong.  The climb up to Mezzomonte starts only 15 km from home, and it's familiar enough.  But in December I found a "new" road climbing from Mezzomonte's cemetery up the mountain.  I was stopped by snow at 830 meters and vowed to return.

Today I climbed the road to end of pavement at 1450 meters.  It's very steep, comparable to some of the best climbs in Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige.  With an altitude gain of 1,400 meters, traffic-free road and gorgeous environment at the top, it's tough to match.

A few caveats- there are metal drain gutters crossing the road every 50-100 meters so  pay attention to wheel angle when crossing.  I bunny hopped most of them on descent.  The stretch between 1200-1300 meters is very steep, with a 200 meter 18% concrete ramp.  I had to get off to rest  a couple of times, then gave up and pushed my bike for several hundred meters.  When you reach the junction at 1345 meters, taking a right there is a rough gravel road for maybe 100 meters, then it's paved until you reach 1450 meters altitude.   

I will return to explore this area- I think it may be possible to reach Il Cansiglio by turning left at the 1345m junction.  Also a concrete road climbs north which I think goes to Col delle Tiede.  And the road I stopped at end of pavement 1450m goes to Valle Friz, Casera Campo, and Piancavallo.  Not sure if these are rideable on a road bike, but I'll bring sneakers and walk if necessary. 

A view from1250 meters of a few of the switchbacks below

A view of the steepness around 1200 meters

The dirt road to left at 1345m- maybe goes to Cansiglio?

End of pavement 1450 meters

Piancavallo area on left, Castaldia antennas are on second ridge
on the right (obscured by clouds)

View of Cansiglio area in distance from around 1400 meters

Carved wood shrine at Alpini memorial above Mezzomonte 

Altimetria up to 1320 meters

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