Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Montelonga MTB

Got up early and rode through the tunnel almost to Barcis, turning left at Ponte Antoi.  Crossed the dam and rode along the south shore of the lake past the turn-off for Rifugio Vallata.  Just after the turn-off turn left on paved road heading steeply upslope.  This was new to me- I thought it was a driveway for the rifugio.  In the next 3 km you average 15% gradient, with some 20% thrown in.  The pavement is great so I have no excuse: I must try it with the road bike.

Once pavement ends at 900 meters you turn right and begin climbing on dirt and gravel.  It was a very good road and is completely rideable for the next 4 km of 9.6% median gradient.

At 1350 meters you reach a junction with Casera Montelonga to the left and the trail to Le Ronciade on the right.  I rode a little way  toward the casera then turned around.  The area is lovely grassy pasture with views of Monte Ciastelat.  Back at the trail head I started hiking, pushing the bike.  I had to pick it up now and then to clear bouldery stretches.  A skilled MTBer could probably ride much of this.  After about a mile I arrived at the gravel road heading toward Le Ronciade, a great road if you're starting from either end, Pian delle More or Col Alto.  Good for snowshoeing in winter too.

From Col Alto down the backroad to Castaldia, the main road to Rifugio Bornass, and the closed backroad to Costa di Aviano.  Awesome ride.  Will try the paved section with road bike once my legs recover. 

End of steep paved road at 900 meters

Monte Ciastelat from meadows near Casera Montelonga 

The trailhead, start of a mile of bike pushing  

Looking back at hiking trail before reaching gravel road

Finally riding again, toward Le Ronciade

The steep paved road

The gravel climb from 900 to 1350 meters

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