Friday, August 14, 2015

Barcis- Pala d'Altei MTB

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

Hard climb

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