Thursday, August 15, 2013

Col Artent

I had planned to ride over Passo di Baia to Castello Tesino in Trentino, returning via Cima di Campo.  When I left home at 0430 the sky was full of stars but when I arrived at Fonzaso west of Feltre, it was raining.  I thought about going ahead, but rain at 200 meters can be worse at 1400 meters, so I decided to head east toward Belluno.  The rain stopped and skies brightened a bit, then I remembered a climb I'd read about from Lentiai to Stabia.  So I parked in the piazza and started climbing.

This was an easy warm up climb, up through Canai to Stabie.  I continued from here on a narrow road, remembering something Jack wrote about climbing up to Rifugio Mariech above Valdobbiadene.  This road turned to dirt at 617 meters.  Then I rode downhill a ways and tried another little road, which ended at a farmhouse with a 20% concrete ramp at 688 meters.

I then descended to another turnoff I'd seen signed Pian Coltura, and began an easy traverse to a place called Colderù.  Here the real climb of the day started, an ascent I've never heard of to Col Artent (also signed Malga Garda).  This well-paved road winds up the mountain for another 6.3km, gaining 709 meters at an average gradient of 11.4%, hitting 19-20% near the top.  I had to stop and pretend to take pictures while the stars cleared from my vision.   At 1172 meters it levels out and turns to gravel (not sure how long but gains another 200 meters before Malga Garda).  I will come back and try this again with the road bike- the gravel didn't look bad.  Today was impossible though because it is Ferragosto holiday, and dozens of cars were arriving with families headed up the narrow dirt road. Maybe in September after things have calmed down.

The descent is fun, though there are metal drainage grates every 100 meters or so to bunny hop.  Also much traffic today (I imagine it's usually deserted).  I'll also try to find Jack's write-up to see if he mountain biked to Mariech or road biked.  That would be very fun.   Here it is:

Dawn light on Vidor near Piave River

View of cloudy weather to west from 20% ramp

Elevation marker

This looks like Castello Zumelle location, though I couldn't see the castle

Panorama to east

Panorama northeast with Belluno

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