Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Giais Il Grave

Northwest of our village a huge scree slope scars the mountainside from ages ago.  Locally it's called Il Grave but I see Italian hiking guides calling it ghiaione or pietraia.  I've hiked up it a few times but never biked it as far as I can remember.  From Glera you head up the forest road which then bends left and keeps climbing.  Eventually the trees thin out and you arrive on the exposed slope.  A gravel road of sorts switchbacks up, but the gravel in many (most?) places has been overrun by the perpetually descending scree, which is mainly larger rounder rocks than you want to ride on.  I did pretty well ascending.  I had to hop off and walk up one particularly loose/deep rockslide, but for the most part I just kept going up and over it all.  I quit at 600 meters, where the hiking trail for La Palussa and Forcella di Giais veers off.  You can keep going but it gets steeper, and climbing while standing you will lose traction.

Descending is where I have trouble on these big round loose rocks- my wheels kind of bounce around between them like pinballs.  Those moon buggy balloon tires I've seen on some MTBs might help. Anyway this is a very cool feature, with great views of the plain below and the peaks above.

Giais and surrounding plain

Cortina and Glera, two of our neighborhoods

Looking up at Pala Fontana (hidden by cloud)

A crucifix around 500 meters

An alternate trail to La Palussa in the forest below il Grave 

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