|Steeper than Zoncolan?|
I first heard of this climb a few weeks ago. Apparently it had been recently paved and improved, so my first thought was to try riding the road bike up it. Then I saw the altimetria and knew I would need MTB gearing for the attempt.
Today the rain finally stopped so I had to give it a try. I parked at Villa Santina (325 meters) and crossed Torrente Degano to Raveo. This west side of the river is less trafficked, more scenic and hillier than the main road. I continued north through Cella to Luint, where the route turns south again for Mione. It's a tough climb just to reach the village of Mione at 730 meters, then you find the fountain with the rooster, where the real climbing begins,
The road is a narrow lane immersed in red fir forest. It's smooth fresh asphalt, with well-designed drainage channels to prevent wheel damage. It really is one of the best roads I've climbed around here, surprising given its remoteness. I continued twisting up the hill without respite until about 1200 meters when I stopped to pant. I restarted and made it up another steep stretch, to 1400 meters where I stopped again. I decided to push the bike awhile but that was not much easier. I started riding again and gave it all I had to about 1600 meters and then I was done for. After a break I slowly pushed the bike up the even-steeper concrete section. A guy herding cows teased and ask why I wasn't pedaling. He likely walks up and down this road every day, pushing cows uphill when they want to stop for a nap.
The pass at 1800 meters is grassland with great views in every direction. I took some pictures, caught my breath, and put on my cold descent gear. Luckily I had bled the brakes the other day because this was one long brake-torture test. They held up though. At the bottom I crossed Torrente Degano to Ovaro and rode the busier east bank highway back down to Villa Santina. Luckily all downhill so my legs survived.
Try this climb if you get a chance- you won't be disappointed.
|Pieve di Gorto near Cella|
|The iron rooster atop Mione's fountain|
|View from pass of mountains to the west|
|Close up view to west|
View to north (below pass)
|Close up to north of Monte Crostis (right)|
|Zoncolan ski area to the east|
|To southeast Torrente Degano and Tagliamento|
|Very old iron cross at pass, grape and wheat designs|
|Read this just before descending|