Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rifugio Marinelli MTB

Another ride up near the border of Carnia and Austria.  I had ridden up to Rifugio Tolazzi a few years ago on the Merckx and lately I've been reading that Rifugio Marinelli is a local MTBing benchmark.  It's now or never.

After driving to Comeglians I rode up the valley to Forni Avoltri.  From there I climbed to Rifugio Tolazzi then headed up the steep concreted road.  Lots of hikers on this trail today adding to the fun.  The trail turns to gravel and continues climbing, alternating with concrete on the steeper parts.  Soon the road veers away from the hiking trail and the surroundings begin to feel wilder.  This is one of the tougher parts of the climb, unrelentingly steeply upward.

I reached  Rifugio Marinelli at 2100 meters.  Day hikers climb up here, eat lunch and descend.  I instead followed a sign pointing east toward Timau.  The trail was too rough for me to ride so I walked down the first few hundred meters (although an awesome rider was climbing up this section, ascending the numerous vertical drops I was afraid to descend).  Soon it becomes rideable loose rock trail so I hopped back on.

Beautiful high-valleys with peaks above.  The road winds down and eventually enters fir forest with streams and songbirds.  Finally it joins the main road connecting Tolmezzo with Austria via Passo Monte Croce Carnico.  I headed east to Timau then south toward Sutrio.

My car was in Comeglians so nothing to do but climb up over Ravascletto (the ski resort town for Zoncolan) and coast down,  This is an easy climb but I was fried by now so it felt tough.  Luckily I pulled through.

This is an awesome ride.  The scenery alone is worth the effort.

Dolomiti Sappadine in Veneto

Cliffs on bottom tier of Monte Coglians (at 1700 meters)

Pian dei Buoi from Rifugio Marinelli

Alpine lake, hills at Plotta

Rifugio Martinelli with Monte Coglians behind/above

Looking back up to the rifugio from bike trail below

Monte Coglians left (2780 m), Kellerspitzen right (2716 m) 

Kellerspitzen, stretching east toward Passo Monte Croce Carnico

Looking back from near Casera Plotta

View through pass at Polinik in Austria

Passo, Pal Piccolo, Timau

Max grade is about 20% 

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