Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Le Ronciade MTB

I often see dirt roads and trails when biking or hiking and want to explore them further.  So today I rode the mountain bike back up to Piancavallo from Barcis to check them out.  After ascending the shady back road from the lake I arrived at Pian delle More (1172m) and turned left on a gravel road.  This ascends some what steeply (for my newbie mountain biker skills) to the crossroads at 1336 meters.  I decided to try going  to Casera Ciastelat (1450m), which is by Pala Fontana, directly above our village. After climbing to 1400 meters the road (signed Casera Montelonga) levels out and is easy riding.  Then the road ends and a trail continues on to Montelonga, while another trail heads up to Ciastelat.  So I would need to return with hiking boots and start the climb from there.

Instead I returned to the crossroads and headed briefly back toward Pian delle More, but after only 100 meters or so turned left onto a dirt road to Col Alto.  This was the highlight of today's ride- a long shady dirt road along the north side of the ridge above Le Ronciade forest/meadows.  Adding to the beauty are numerous karst stone formations, which have some very cool shapes. Also some good views of the mountains from here.  Eventually the road arrives at pavement in Col Alto (1290m).  I took the shady back way home, down past Pian delle More, Lago di Barcis and the cool tunnels to Montereale.  Very lucky to avoid the heat- we're having a record breaking heatwave and trying to stay shady.  Fun ride with more to come.  

The turn off opposite Pian delle More
The crossroads with 3 routes to choose from.

Lovely road toward Casera Montelonga

The foot trail to Casera Ciastelat

Warning: hidden abyss ( in the karst zone)

Mountains to north: Monte Caulana (2068m) left;
 Il Piz (1752m) right

Fallen karst boulder blocking half the roadway (right)

Monte Cavallo ( 2251m) left, in distance;
Le Ronciade meadows, foreground

Lago di Barcis looking east toward Monte Raut (2025m)

Looking west up the Valcellina

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