Monday, May 18, 2015

Casera Palantina - Valle Friz MTB

Last Fall I tried to reach Casera Palantina from Pian Rosada via a couple of MTB trails.  Each  ended in a steep climb up the mountainside and I couldn't continue.  So today I tried again; started riding from La Crosetta to Col Indes/Pian delle Lastre in southeast Alpago.  Here I turned off of the pavement onto a very good MTB trail, CAI 923.  Some of the steeper parts I had to walk up, but it's a bikeable trail.  Then at 1400 meters there is a branch to the right that was mostly unrideable to me.  It takes you to Casera Palatina, ruins of a cheese maker's stone house at 1508 meters.  The casera is surrounded on north and east by some of the tall peaks of Cavallo Gruppo. 

From Casera Palantina I joined CAI 993 headed south.  I wanted to see if I could reach Valle Friz by bike.  The answer is No: you can hike it, but a bike is merely a 15 kg albatross around your neck.  Most of the time you can roll it over the rocks but in many instances you end up carrying it, in a few cases up very steep rough trail.  I was beginning to have my doubts, but I decided to keep trying.  At Antro delle Lamate you reach an area of caves.  I didn't explore them but I've seen some interior photos and they seem pretty big.  I believe they were used as human shelter in millennia past.

Finally I got on CAI 984 which was headed for Valle Friz.  Still too boulder-strewn to ride but there were a few stretches of grass I was able to coast for a few meters.  Around a bend I spotted Casera Valle Friz and the road to Candaglia.  This was great fun after the long push/carry, especially the glorious dirt road from Candaglia to La Crosetta.  I drove home and conked out from the exertion.  Next time I will try hiking from Valle Friz to Casera Palantina and back.  Maybe into Antro delle Lamate?  

Start of trail 923; like the bambi-esque fawn

Here you turn right off of 923 onto T 7

Casera Palantina with Cima delle Vacche
Palantina with Cimon di Cavallo

Join CAI 993 here

The karst strewn slopes

Beautiful wildflowers

Bees' eye-view of the flowers

View northwest of Lago di Santa Croce

View west of Il Cansiglio

Antro delle Lamate cave
Close up of cave opening

Another cave nearby

CAI 984, the trail to Valle Friz

Excelsior!  Casera Valle Friz and the road to Candaglia!

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