I've always wondered if it was possible to ride to Lake Barcis, climb the mountains above our house, then descend to Giais. Today I gave it a try. After riding up through the tunnels to the lake, I crossed the dam and turned left at Portuz. This is the road I took a few weeks ago to Casera Pala. From there I descended slightly and then continued to Casera Montelonga. Took a few minutes to see where to join the trail for Pala d'Altei because the grass, wildflowers and nettles are about shoulder-high. Eventually I found the trail heading southeast.
I couldn't ride most of this trail because of the terrain and vegetation so I pushed and carried the bike. Over a little ridge opens another lovely meadow where I was able to ride slowly. This soon begins climbing steeply on boulders so I pushed some more. The terrain levels briefly as you cross a dirt road. I will have to come back and explore this, because I'd found a similar dirt road near Casera Pala a few weeks ago and ridden it for several hundred meters. I believe this may connect, which would save you the nettle stings of Montelonga. I'll return and try it again.
A bit more climbing and you emerge from hardwood forest into rolling alpine grassland. This is really a beautiful spot, especially when not hazy and you can see the big mountains of Cavallo Gruppo and Ressettum (unlike today). I continued down between Pala d'Altei and Zuccul Forador's spectacular cliffs. More pushing the bike through shoulder-high weeds to Casera Rupiet and then I descended. I lost my way in the little forest on the way to the gravel road but luckily ended in the right place.
Gorgeous scenery. Heaven is only a few hundred meters above our rooftops.
|Beech forest along the way to Casera Pala|
|Finally I can pedal instead of push! |
Over the ridge from Casera Montelonga
|Spectacular alpine meadows near Monte Cameroni|
|Pala d'Altei towering above the meadows|
|Zuccol Forador cliffs|
|Pala d'Altei cliff face|