Sunday, July 28, 2013

Passo Glevizza

I heard about this climb from the guys at Adesso Pedala.  From Ponte di San Quirino (156m) you ride up Val Natisone to Loch.  I was kinda sleepy and turned too early, just after San Pietro al Natisone at the "Mezzana" sign (should have been "Mersino").  It was a beautiful curvy little road though, but dead ended at 451 meters.  Nice views of lower Val Natisone.

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

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