Sunday, October 13, 2013

Milies, Mariech, Posa Puner

I've dreamed of this mountain bike ride for months:  ascending the massif of Monte Cesen from west or north, then crossing the mountain top to descend the south side.  I decide to try ascending a new route from Segusino, ride to Rifugio Mariech, take the trail to Posa Puner and descend via Madean.

I parked at Maine and warmed up climbing to Combai.  Then down to Valdobbiadene, north along the Piave River to Segusino, and the climbing begins.  This is a pretty tough little climb: in 7 km you gain 574 meters, averaging 8%. Maybe I was just rusty from lack of riding.  Pavement ends at 770 meters a little past Milies but I continued on the gravel road, climbing another 4 km averaging 10.7%, with stretches of 21% to Malga Molvina, 1206 meters.

This was a killer, but I did get a little break when I reached Forcella and couldn't figure out which way to go.  The map I'd printed of this section was missing from my backpack (later found it stuck to the back of my other map- apparently I was too knackered to figure that out on the climb).  So I picked the right fork, which was very hard climbing but not as long as I expected, leveling out at 1200 meters instead of 1500.  Too tired  to reverse my course, I decided to keep on going to see where it went.  Beautiful views of the prosecco vineyards below as it hugged the mountainside.  Amazingly it soon arrived at a paved road.  The only one I knew of around here is Valdobbiadene to Rifugio Mariech, so I turned left and headed up the hill.

At 1500 meters I reached the rifugio, socked in with fog, and found the dirt road toward Posa Puner through a pasture full of horses and cows.  This road was great until I reached Casera Forconetta (1393 meters).  They had signs marked Posa Puner which I followed but the road soon turned to a cow track through the woods with no signs.  With all the rain the cows' hooves had sunk up to their ankles, leaving a mire of mud, cow manure, and lucky for me, a raft of freshly fallen leaves.  As long as I stayed on this thick layer of leaves I didn't sink.  This "trail" descends to a little valley and finally reaches a little gravel road ascending upward to Casera Federa (1330 meters).  Now the road becomes wide and gravelled, climbing up to 1383 meters on the flank of Monte Cimon.  Beautiful views here of Dolomiti Bellunesi, Col Visentin, Monte Pizzoc, Monte Cavallo, Laghi Revine, the prosecco vineyards, Piave River, and Il Montello.  Also hang gliders zooming around a few hundred meters below.

I descended to Rifugio Posa Puner, continued down to Casera Budoi, and then the twisty forested curves of Madean to Combai.  Combai was now packed with visitors for the chestnut festival.  Great ride- now my legs feel like lead.

Monte Miliana (1270m)

Monte Vallina (1067)

Milies, cloud covered Piave valley, and
Monte Grappa massif in the distance

Casera Federa on the trail from Mariech to Posa Puner

Rifugio Posa Puner, with Dolomiti Bellunesi in background 


Along the Monte Cesen massif toward
Col Visentin and Monte Pizzoc 


Prosecco vineyards

Piave River valley



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