Back on track, I found the Mersino road and headed upward. This road is completely different: wild, rugged surroundings and steep pavement (10km averaging 8.4%, with ramps over 14%). After about 4km you reach a hillside town, Morseu, where you continue grappling steeply up. A bit later following the signs for Matajur, you reach Nabordo, then Oballa. Shortly after, around 825m, the character of the road changes- it follows the ridgeline upward and is straighter. You reach Passo Glevizza around 997 meters, and then descend gently to Montemaggiore at 950m.
Now I decided to climb Matajur again since I was already halfway up it. I dug in and made it up the switchbacks averaging 9.6% for 3.5 km to 1300m. Lots of visitors up here at Rifugio Pelizzo on a July Sunday. I headed back down, continuing through Masseris to Cepletischis at 580m. Heading briefly toward Slovenia (which is about 1 km away) I found the turn off for my last climb, Passo di San Martino.
The road (closed to traffic for repairs) descends first to a stream at 500m, then starts climbing up a twisty lane through shady forest, until Passo di San Martino at 674m. Down steeply to Clodig, then along Torrente Cosizza back to Ponte di San Quirino.
Passo Glevizza is a wonderful, little-known climb and I'll definitely be back to ride it again.
|Across Val Natisone, San Giovanni d'Antro clings to the steep hillside|
|Passo Glevizza (997m), in the forest below Monte Matajur|
|Heavily contorted cliffs east of Rifugio Pelizzo, Matajur|
|Beautiful meadows on Matajur|
|Different angle of Matajur meadows|
|Alpino watering hole at Passo di San Martino|