Saturday, May 31, 2014

La Vedetta da Possagno

Strada degli Alpini from Possagno is often called the toughest climb up Monte Grappa.  I've tried the other 3 eastern routes, so this one was next.  I warmed up from Pederobba, through Cavaso del Tomba and into Possagno (265m).  I turned right at the sign and headed up.  Not bad at first, 9-10%.  Then steeper and steeper.  I was doing pretty well until about 800 meters and the 18-22% stretches sent me into crisis.  I hung my head over the bars awhile and hyperventilated.  I walked some.  I rode a little.  Somehow I made it to the junction with the Passo del Tomba to Monte Grappa ridge road at 1067 meters.

I decided to keep going.  I've ridden this ridge road 3 times before and knew it was hard, but I'd survived it previously after hard climbs from Alano di Pieve and Cavaso del Tomba so thought I could do it.  Very slow grinding but I made it up the switchbacks and finally to La Vedetta dell'Archeson at 1469 meters.  Then I headed rack down.  Fun descent with lots of riders ascending from Passo del Tomba.  Then the plummet down to Possagno with hands cramped from clutching the brakes so long.  Saw only one rider on this stretch- he looked tired and was just getting started.

I will try this again someday on my mountain bike.  There are some interesting trails winding around the grassy slopes of Monte Archeson I'd love to explore.  

Turn right here at Possagno

Take this left 

Again take a left 

Don't turn left before this house, wait till after the danger sign

Asolo hills from 800-900 meters (while I was recovering)
Just below the junction with the ridge road
Turn left toward Cima del Grappa

Famous goat at the junction with Paderno del Grappa climb

Cima del Grappa (1732 m) site of Friday's cronoscalata finish

La Vedetta dell'Archeson chapel

The grassy hills seen from near La Vedetta

Below the Vedetta,with Malga Archeson upper left

"Bocca di Forca", below La Vedetta, is the cyclist nickname
for the climb from Possagno (I call it Strada degli Alpini)

Miniature Tower of Pisa in Possagno yard

Rival Eifel Tower in neighbor's yard

Temple (church) built by Possagno native sculptor Antonio Canava 1819 

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