Friday, June 7, 2013

Monte San Simeone

Beautiful day so I rode back up past the Grifoni Refuge, Lago Cornino, up la Strada di Bottecchia to Lago Cavazzo, turned right at Interneppo and headed uphill.  Above Interneppo the road levels out in a low pass, where you turn left toward Monte San Simeone.  After briefly rising through the forest, the road tilts upward more steeply.  Like Pian delle Femene the gradient here is relentless.  There are stacks of switchbacks with curved tunnels at the ends to ease the grade, but it still averages 8.3% for 10.5 km.  At the end of the road (1190 meters) are beautiful grassy meadows with spectacular views.  The panorama to the north is blocked by the forested summit of Monte San Simeone (1500 meters).  I saw the path leading to the top so I'll probably try to bike up with sneakers in my backpack next time and then hike.

The only problem with this climb: the roadway is pretty torn up and there are many fallen rocks.  I was doing good descending till around 430 meters when my rear tire went flat.  If I had descended more slowly I probably could have avoided the flat and saved some time.  But no big deal, it was a nice break changing the tube on a sunny day accompanied by birds singing in the forest.

The ride home went well, though my leg muscles were fatigued.  This is another wonderful climb that makes you want to return every year.
View toward Gemona from 1200 meters

Looking south at Cuel di Forchia and Monte Cuar
rising above the Tagliamento River

Westward sea of mountains stretching to Veneto,
Friulian flag waving in the breeze

Monte Palantarins (1050m) shares the same "island" with Monte
San Simeone, surrounded by the Tagliamento River and Lago Cavazzo 

Mountains to east stretching toward Slovenia

Baby blue Tagliamento River

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