Monday, October 20, 2014

Casera Losa MTB

I parked at Ampezzo (560 meters) and rode over Passo Pura (1482 meters)- 8 km averaging 9% gradient.  Then I descended to Lago di Sauris at 965 meters, quite cold on this overcast morning.  Across the high dam and a brief ride along the shore line brought me to the turnoff for Lateis.  Newly asphalted and switch-backed to ease the gradient, the road arrived in a little town seemingly transplanted from Bavaria or Switzerland.  The road steepens and then as I climbed out of town the gradient reaches the mid- to high-teens.  It finally levels briefly at Forca Frumeibn (1423 meters).  As you descend the pavement ends, but it's very hard-packed dirt and should be road bikeable.  

A large cement mixer was ascending as I swooped around a curve so I hopped off and held my bike on the steep edge: the large truck went by with a few inches to spare.  The dirt road enters a meadow with a house, a little chapel and a very old barn at Stavoli Hinter d'Olbe.   Now asphalt returns and I bore right across Rio Temberle, and after some saliscendi, crossed the guado of Rio Piellinis.  Very large eroded landslide area on the mountainside upstream.

Now begins another long steep climb.  The pavement ends again, but this gravel road is a little too rough for a road bike: I was glad I'd brought the MTB.  Eventually you exit the forest and arrive in alpine pastureland.  The clouds now broke up and glorious warm sunshine illuminated the mountains.  I couldn't resist continuing to the area near Casera Losa (1740 meters), in a conch surrounded by grassy peaks.  My drop-dead time to head back passed but I had to spend another 15 minutes exploring the area.

Descent was fast and once I reached the lake I headed down through the tunnels and high bridges through Torrente Lumiei gorge.  The porphyry-block pavement was wet so I was worried about sliding down in the steep tunnels.  Luckily I made it unscathed and reached the car at Ampezzo.

Must try this again and connect with the Passo Forcella climb from Mione, near Ovaro.  Only lacked a few kilometers today but had to get home to stay out of the doghouse. 

Lateis house

Lateis hay drying barn

Stavoli Hinter d'Olbe barn with
curved beams like a ship's ribs

Wood carving of Sant' Antonio

Chapel of Sant'Antonio; note hex head
wooden peg joining

Glorious alpine pastureland near Casera Gerona 

The gravel road from Casera Gerona toward Casera Losa

Valley below the alpine pastures

Casera Losa

The dirt road toward Passo Forcella

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