Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Monte Grappa da Caupo

This is the 5th route up Monte Grappa I've tried, and the first ascending from the north.   This climb has a completely different character from the others.  The others cling to the cliffs along the southern escarpment, exposed to the sun.  This one is nice and shady, an important plus given the record-setting heat wave we've been enduring.  It helped that I started early, pedaling away from the car park in Fonzaso at 0630.  At the village of Caupo the climb begins.

The first third of this 28km climb is in lovely forest, long sweeping switchbacks rising to 1000 meters at an average gradient of 8%.  A great workout, and mostly free of the crazy gradients on the southern side.  Then the terrain changes, and you're traversing an undulating zone for 5 km.  It's a bit of a break, but it still rises generally with a constantly varying gradient to keep you on your toes. 

The final 8km are more familiar if you've climbed Monte Grappa before.  Treeless alpine grassland, exposed rock faces, steeper ramps.  It averages over 6%, with 170 vertical meters of counter-slopes and a few steep bits in the 16-17% range.  

Today clouds were blowing across the summit, rapidly changing from sun to white-out.  I apologize for the lack of photos- it was a tough day to take pictures.   The ride down was fun, especially the lower stack of switchbacks.  I will try this again- it's my favorite Grappa route so far.  

The Italian Ossuary at the summit

Memorial to the Partigiani, guerrillas who fought against the Fascists in WW II

1 comment:

  1. Brings back memories of 2011 when I stopped with friends at Seren del Grappa and rode this route (among with a few others in the area) solo in the 30C+ heat. The Castelli/Sportful factory store is also in Fonzaso which is handy!