Sunday, July 23, 2017

Monte Tomatico

I first heard of Monte Tomatico in Jack's blog , and I've spent the last 7 years  cooking up excuses to avoid it.  Today was the  day of reckoning, so I approached, trembling.  The first hurdle arrived in the form of an unmarked junction.  Surely the one marked "Private" and "Forbidden: shepherds and woodsmen only"couldn't be it.  72 vertical meters out of the saddle later the obviously correct fork dead ended.

I rolled back down and took the other fork.  I alternated mashing Maxxima's 34 X 32 gear seated, and standing, pulling the bars up with each half-stroke.  I survived this torture up to 965 meters and then could pedal no more.  For awhile I struck various "Goodbye, cruel world" poses. Then I started pushing the bike up the hill.  Finally at 1109 meters I deemed it climbable again and remounted.

The road eventually turns to gravel, but is still rideable.  Finally at 1400 meters is a junction.  I decided to turn around here, as ominous dark clouds were amassing and there were thunderstorms in the forecast.  A couple of Italian MTB'ers arrived from the other side (another route) and asked where I was from.  One said I should go up the hill to the cross which is the highest spot but I decided to turn back.  The descent was much more fun.  I will try this again with MTB (which is atrophying in the shed this summer).   It will be perfect for this road.    

Pretty piazzetta in Porcen, start of climb 

Very well-marked at the start

Hmmm, left or right?

Left is forbidden, can't be the one (no?) 


A little rifugio at 1400 meters

I was advised to go up to the cross on top,
but I'll MTB up there next time

Windy, fast moving dark clouds
coming over the top of Monte Grappa

The climb

The bike pushing

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