Saturday, July 11, 2015

Monte Milifret - Mezzomiglio MTB

I've been meaning to ride this for years and finally got around to it.  It completely blew away my expectations.  The first step was to climb Monte Pizzoc.  Just for fun I decided to MTB up from Osigo to Campo Cadolten.  I'd ridden it from Sonego last year and was curious how the Osigo route compared.  Climb through Osigo and after the 1st switchback on Via Cansiglio turn off onto Via Pravinera.  This is steep concrete and dirt road, as from Sonego.  At 900 meters you reach Chiesetta di Sant'Antonio, then keep on grappling up a little sun-exposed canyon till you reach the altopiano of Cadolten.  Beautiful green pastures surrounded by tall beech and spruce.  At the Pizzoc road, continue up to end of pavement above 1500 meters.  

Take the gravel road toward Rifugio Citta' di Vittorio Veneto then continue on toward La Croda (bar).  The markings aren't too clear here but luckily I looked up while scratching my head and saw a MTBer on a grassy ridge above.  I found the trail (unmarked except for some Fregona Trails streamers) and crossed the rising grassland.  Now it steepens and you begin technical climbing up the west face of Monte Milifret (which means I was carrying my bike).  My hopes were rising and soon I reached the place I've been wanting to see for so long: the cliffs at the top of the gorge climbing from Vittorio Veneto to Lago di Santa Croce.  I tiptoed out to the edge and it is essentially vertical for maybe 800 meters down.  Wow!

I now pushed/rode the bike along a trail that traverses the eastern side of Monte Milifret.  Still high but now you're traversing slopes above the forest rising from Cansiglio altopiano.  The trail gradually gets easier (less bouldery) and enters red spruce forest with many exposed roots.  At a junction leading to Pian de la Pita I finally got confirmation: I was on the ridge trail Sentiero delle Piaie Longhe Milifret.  This was my goal because last year I tried riding the lower trail H3 from Mezzomiglio and it was an impassable mud bog.  This higher trail was much better.

The trail widens a bit though still rocky and rooty so I was able to ride pretty well.  It then begins descending gradually so I stayed on the brakes.  The woodland abruptly ends and you enter the rolling grassland above Mezzomiglio.  I followed the path and then a gravel road I remembered from years ago, eventually heading toward the junction with the gravel road toward Palughetto.

This joins the main road across Piancansiglio to La Crosetta, then the descent toward Vittorio Veneto and the car.  Must return and explore this area more.  Great snowshoeing in winter too.     

Chiesa San Giorgio, Osigo
Chiesetta Sant'Antonio

Interior of chiesetta

View from above of Cadolten altopiano

Monte Pizzoc from Monte Milifret

Fadalto, Lago Morto, Monte Faverghera

Lago di Santa Croce and Monte Dolado

Monte Milifret cliffs

Trail through the red spruce forest

The grassy alto piano above Mezzomiglio

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