Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Palughetto

Splendid morning, so I headed for Malga Mezzomiglio above Lago di Santa Croce.  After Vittorio Veneto and Fadalto you skirt the east shore  of the lake until just before Farra d'Alpago, where you turn right at Villaggio Riviera.  Nice switchbacks at first, then after the village of Pianture you hit a 20% wall.  I made it without stopping but I was gasping and sputtering.  A shorter slightly less-steep wall follows after a brief break.  Then the real fun- 3 or 4 long traverses each with hundreds of meters of 10-13%.    I finished the last of these (from 850m to 1000m) gasping again.  This is a tough climb.  Now a series of shorter switchbacks begins, nice because you can catch your breath in the ends.

The agony ends at 1,187 meters where I turned off on the gravel road for Palughetto.  You could also continue on to the meadows of Malga Mezzomiglio on the paved road instead.  This gravel road was very hard packed and was no problem on 23mm road tires.  I did hop off and put on Bike Skinz cleat covers for about 100 meters near the cabin in the pictures- the road was a little too steep and rough for me there.  Afterwards I continued pedaling to the junction with Strada del Taffarel, where I continued toward Palughetto and Campon.  The road soon becomes paved and descends through tall shady forest.  At Palughetto there's an archeology dig where scientists study the earlier human inhabitants of the Cansiglio.  People have lived and hunted up here for millennia.

I reached the main road at Campone, no cars, crystal blue skies, red spruce forest all around.  This is heaven.  Then you come around a curve and the whole grassy green plain opens up before you, like the opening shot of The Big Valley or a 1950's western. After pedaling to La Crosetta I descended to Sarone, and noticed some big clouds to the east.  Sure enough near Gargazzo they cut loose and dumped heavy rain on me for the next half hour.  It wasn't as bad as it sounds- actually made me ride faster than I would have otherwise.  In a change of pace, there was no rain in Giais, so I quickly dried out when I got home.  Wonderful ride!   

Monte Dolado from start of gravel road, 1200 meters

Cabin along gravel road  to Palughetto

Wood carved coturnice (rock partridge) and cane di caccia

Left is Strada del Taffarel leading to Monte Pizzoc, right descends to Malga Mezzomiglio

Casa Forestale at Palughetto; archeological dig nearby 


1 comment:

  1. As always I love reading your adventures. A mix of emotions though; envy gets me sometimes! love the sound of those 10% traverses.

    Have you considered a cyclocross bike as an alternative means of transport. It might be a better compromise than the MTB?

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