Thursday, July 23, 2015

Torrente Mesaz MTB

Lago del Vajont is a popular tourist area, with the towns of Erto and Casso in the aftermath of a horrific dam disaster 50 years ago.  Usually I follow the main highway on the north shore of the lake, but today I revisited the isolated south shore road.  They've paved the last remaining dirt sections, but otherwise it is as remote and beautiful as ever.  

After Passo Sant'Osvaldo I descended to the turn off for the south shore, sharply to your left.  It descends, crosses Torrente Tuara and then follows the shore line along forested slopes.  There are a few tiny settlements where people grow hay and raise farm animals.  

Eventually you cross Torrente Mesaz and head uphill along the lake.  I missed my turnoff for the trail at first and continued around Lago del Vajont within 2 km of the junction with the main highway.  Realizing my error I turned  around and found trail CAI 905: a large flat-stone paved lane heading steeply upward.  The stonework soon ended and it became a steep gravel road.  Great workout.  After a few km it ends where the foot trail descends to Rifugio Citta'.  Good views from here of Mesaz gorge, Erto and surrounding peaks.  Highly recommended.  

Warming up on road to Cimolais

Upper Vajont lake basin

View northwest of Erto and peaks

Beautiful gorge of Torrente Mesaz

Bridge over Torrente Mesaz

Middle Vajont lake (water backed up behind landslide)

View from end of trail, looking down Torrente Masaz,
across remnant of lake basin toward Erto

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