Friday, October 10, 2014

Sella Nevea - Passo del Predil

It rained as I drove to Chiusaforte and I thought I'd have to go back home.  But it stopped and I set out on my bike for Sella Nevea.  Val Raccolana is a gorgeous ride, a gorge through a range of rugged mountains with abundant waterfalls to ogle.   It's rolling road at first, than pitches up steeply to Sella Nevea.  As I ascended the scala of switchbacks below the pass I entered a layer of overcast, thick fog.  The turn off for Altopiano Montasio was completely socked in.  From the Sella (1190 meters)  I  descended eastward to Lago del Predil at 980 meters.   Beautiful forests surround the lake, with mountain peaks towering above.  

I reached the junction and turned upward again toward Slovenia.  After more switchbacks through the forest I reached the border and soon Passo del Predil (1156 meters).  There is an old Austrian fortress here from the Napoleonic Wars.  I turned around and retraced my route.   Miraculously the rain stayed away the whole ride.  Then on the drive home it started back up.  This is a beautiful remote area with great cycling when the weather's fair, most notably  Altopiano Montasio (1515 meters) and Mangart (2055 meters). 

Fontanone Goriuda waterfall with cave at the base
- must hike to it if you have time

Memorial to fallen Austrian soldiers at the 1809 battle site

The Predil pass road is built right through the old fortress

Predil Fortress, autumn forest

View from switchbacks ascending to Passo del Predil from the lake

Looking down at the lake

Lake view toward the west

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