Friday, December 29, 2017

Orsago loop

A sunny cold day, perfect for a nice flat ride on Maxima down via Pedemontane to Cordignano, Orsgo Sacile and home.   Need to get back in form after all those Christmas cookies!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Travesio loop

All this snowshoeing is great cross-training but I need to bike too.  Today I took Fedaia for a nice spin to Sequals, Travesio and Meduno.  Despite the wintery temps I was warm the whole time from the exertions of pedaling in the cheerful winter sun.  Good Christmas Eve workout.

New Craft gloves worked great

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sauc snowshoe

The road from Piancavallo to Suac is covered in snow in winter.  On a weekday it’s deserted, making a perfect snowshoeing practice course for my wife Marilyn.  She did great.

Cruising downhill

We turned around but the road
continues to Il Cansiglio

Charging uphill toward the starting line

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Ronciade snowshoe

I was beat up pretty bad by all that climbing in deep powder the other day so I tried a little easier route today.   La Ronciade starts at Col Alto, so gets more traffic than the more remote paths (though deserted today).  It’s also less steep, which I needed after 3 days of limping.

The path generally stays on a winding forest road from Col Alto to the junction with trails from Pian delle More,  Montelonga, Forcella di Giais and Casera Caseratte.  Here I turned around and headed back, trying to learn from experience not to overreach.  Accessible desolation, warm winter sun, absolute silence are addictive- I’ll be back again soon.

Monte Cavallo Gruppo

The junction

East toward Montelonga

Afternoon shadows on the mountain

The pass leading to Casera Caserrate from the west

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Colle delle Lastre snowshoe

After a week of cold and rain the weather finally broke and the sun popped out.  I drove up to Castaldia again and was happy to find a foot of fresh untouched snow.  I followed the low route again until the left turn onto CAI 985, marked Casera Caseratte.  This climbs steeply through the spruce forest until opening onto rolling slopes below Col Spizzat.  Don't know if it's climbable in winter  but I'd like to  try.

Instead I traversed to the east following trail markers until reaching an apparent dirt road (under the snow).  I turned south and descended to Casera del Medico and then back to the car.  The Garmin had recorded only the first 9 seconds of the track.  Then when I cranked the Mini it was dead.  Luckily I'd parked on a slight down gradient so I let it slowly roll until it reached critical mass.  That was close.

Adriatic sun reflection 

Trail through snowy spruce
Spruce and beech trees above Casera Caseratte

Alpi Giuliani

A marked-up map of the route (clockwise) 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Monte Caseratte Snowshoe

Drove to Castaldia and hiked to the trailhead, then opted for the high trail to Col del Lovo.  From here snowshoed on virgin snow to Monte Caseratte.  Fun doing steep downhills and uphills with snowshoes, you must really watch your balance.  From the top beautiful views in all directions, except the pianura, obscured by a brownish grey inversion layer.  Returned on the usual low trail via Casera del Medico.
Great exercise in unbearable beauty, can I ask for more? 

From Col del Lovo toward Monte Caseratte 

Julian Alps

Monte Cavallo Gruppo

Monday, December 4, 2017

Casera Stiefin MTB

Cold morning, without even the winter sun's brightening and warming.  I rode to Costa and climbed past Madonna della Monte on the road to Bornass.  The Garmin died halfway up so no track available.
After Bornass I headed up a bit higher to a turnoff to the left onto a dirt road.  This is a nice flattish meadow with a watering hole for livestock.  A bit further past the meadow is an old cabin and house and picnic table.  Doesn't look used anymore.   The dirt road became overgrown so I turned around.  I crossed the main road and headed down another trail.  I could see the road to Bornass downslope through the trees but couldn't find a path connecting to it.  So I turned around and headed home.  Very cold on the descent.  Luckily I slowly thawed in the warm bath and seem none the worse for wear.   

The turnoff for Casera Stiefin

Pretty meadow near casera

View from road near Bornass

Steep slope up to Castaldia.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Casera Pian della Corona MTB

I decided to head up and check out the snow on the mountains behind our house.  I rode to Grizzo and then climbed past the Observatorio Astronomico where pavement ends.  Before long I came through patches where the sun doesn't melt the snow, which became gradually more frequent.  By the time I topped 1000 meters it was all snow.  This is the spot where the gravel road turns into an uphill trail, so I was ready to turn around anyway.  Descent was easier but cold, below zero Celsius.

The Adriatic Sea shimmering on the horizon

Eastward toward  Julian Alps 

Monte Fara and peaks above the Cellina River

Pala d'Altei from the south

Another angle

Snowy end of gravel road at 1000 meters

Trail junction  below Casera Rupeit

Lago di Ravedis

Ravedis snow peaks

The climb

Monday, November 27, 2017

Via Mas Comun MTB

A sunny but cold break in our rainy week.  I rode to the turn off for Range but instead turned right onto Via Maso.  You climb past some nice houses then pavement ends and you’re on a great gravel road.  It switchbacks  through the woods then gets steeper.  The trees transition to grassy slopes, with the road continuously climbing until you reach the junction for Mezzomonte.  I choose instead to continue toward Via Ciastelat, reprising my climb from Dardago of last week.  It was as fun to descend as to ascend.  From Dardago an easy ride home.  A beautiful area I’ll return to explore.

View east toward Slovenia

Looking up at Il Torrone

The main climb

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sentiero Pagnoca MTB/Hike

I parked at Villa di Villa and climbed up to Rugolo, then headed toward Montaner.  On the edge of town is a settlement called Val Borgo with an Orthodox church.  Turn right and begin climbing steeply.  After a few km I arrived at Casera di Fae and explored, looking for a shortcut.  No luck.  I descended a bit and traversed west to the chiesetta on Sentiere Pagnoca.  Here you must dismount and push your bike up a rocky trail until joining another concrete road, very steep.  Eventually you  reach the end of the road.  This begins the hike up CAI 1061, named Pagnoca after a partigiano fighter in WW II.  Lots of bike carrying uphill.  It’s a good workout, much more variety of muscle strain than usual bike riding.  Eventually it opens up in sunny beech forest,  which I thought was near Cima della Cima.  After descending a dirt road a I joined a well-paved road but  wasn’t sure where.  After ascending a bit I recognized the intersecting road from Col Oliver:  I was on Strada dei Patriarchi.  I descended to Villa di Villa, very tired.

Casera di Fae

Chiesetta on Sentiero Pagnoca

Faggio in autumn with deep blue sky

Steep climb

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cadolten da Sonego MTB

My second attempt on Cadalton from Sonego, the more difficult approach.  Last time was a couple of years ago and I remember having to stop to rest several times.  Today I rode it without setting a foot down,  so that’s progress.

At the top Cataldon had a few cm of snow which I walked through.  Then at the Casa Forestale the road was plowed the rest of the way.  After La Crosetta I continued to Strada dei Patriarchi, beautiful and deserted on this sunny autumn day.  What a wonderful workout through gorgeous scenery!

Cadolten beech trees in the snow

The upper end of Strada dei Patriarchi

Cordignano castello

Total climb

The hardest hour:  5.6 km averaging 14%

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ciavalir, Val de Lama MTB Hike

Today a MTB ride, a steep rough hike, up into the clouds, snow above 1500 meters.  I started with a ride to Dardago, then turned left toward Al Ciastelat restaurant.  This becomes a dirt road climbing steeply to  Mezzomonte.  A couple of hunters were out with their beautiful  bird dogs and shotguns.  At Mezzomonte cemetery I headed upward on the paved road, then right  on CAI 984.  After end of pavement I continued riding until it became too steep and muddy, then I pushed.  A few hikers who’d climbed up from Via San Tome above Dardago passed in the opposite direction.

Now the steep hiking/bike pushing begins.  This is great exercise, using muscles I often neglect.  I’ll admit I was fantasizing about a foldable mountain bike I could carry on my backpack, yet I persisted. Eventually I reached Ciavalir, a ruin of a stone farmhouse, surrounded by meadows encircled by piled-stone walls.   I continued steeply upward to Casera Val de Lama at 1100 meters.  I got confused by the electric fence routing but crawled through with bike without getting shocked.  After a short dirt road I rejoined the paved road up from Mezzomonte cemetery.  This ascends steeply and soon reached the Panaramica Piancavallo-Cansiglio in a dense fogbank.

I pedaled  through the fog until snow at 1500 meters where I donned my cold weather gear.  I froze down the slope past Casera Campo then Sauc and Piancavallo to Pedemontana and home.  Unpacking I noticed my phone missing, so drove all the way past Rifugio Valle Friz, where the phone was in the snow where I’d dropped it.  I was amazed the Mini could make it through all those drainage channels, it’s never been past Piancavallo.

Meadows at Ciavalir

Ruin of farmhouse

Piled stone walls

More piled stone walls

Close up of meadows

1500 meters, the spot where I found my phone

Long climb, including over an hour of pushing
bike steeply upward