Sunday, April 3, 2016

Strada della Venezia delle Nevi MTB

I climbed this gravel road in July 2014 and vowed to only descend it if I rode it again. But today that was all forgotten so up I went.  I was already hot by the time I finished the paved introduction so at the start of gravel I stripped to bike shorts only and headed up.  It's a rough surface and fairly remote so I was careful not to break the bike or any bones.  Most of the climb is across from Croda di San Tome, a beautiful sheer cliff face.  At the base of the cliffs runs a wide stream, Torrente Artugna, which was quite noisy with all the cascading snow melt.

I was hoping to reach Sauc and Piancavallo like last time, but ran into snow above 1000 meters.  I pushed the bike a few hundred meters hoping it was just a patch but it kept getting deeper.  The descent is very long and rough even with front shocks.  Luckily there are many treefalls which require you to dismount so I got some brief respite from the beating.  I'll have to try this again this fall, the wildness is worth the effort.  

Note the paravalange near
Castaldia on Piancavallo road

Crode di San Tome with road from Dardago visible on the right

Wonderful spring full of snowmelt: I filled up in both directions

Snow blocks the last kilometer or two

The entire climb

The gravel portion

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