Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Monte Cuar MTB

This is a classic ride into the mountains rising above the Tagliamento River.  I parked at Cornino and warmed up through Peonis before turning left toward Cjanet.  This is a paved stack of switchbacks, I'm guessing built by Italian military.  Around 490 meters an unmarked rough gravel road veers off acutely, immediately heading upward.  Today was extra fun because the stones were covered by a thick layer of spiny chestnut husks.  They seemed to provide some extra cushion to the surface.

Eventually this road joins the paved road from Monte Prat to Avasins.  I couldn't remember the route so I followed the signs to Malga Cuar.  This turns out to be the hiking trail CAI 815, which is steep and too rough to MTB.  After awhile I came to my senses and hiked back to the road with my heavy bike.  After more aimless riding I turned around and found the gravel road I was looking for, unmarked except for a Malga Cuar sign pointing in the wrong direction.  

Now the sun was shining, the road was not too steep, and all was well again.  Up and up it goes until it wraps around to the north slope, shady and cool.  This time the cushioning  is supplied by a deep layer of fallen faggio (beech) leaves, which sounded almost like crunching snow as I passed through them.

Finally the levels off some, the beech leaves give way to grassland, and a spectacular panorama opens up. To the north, east, and west  mountains are everywhere, while to the south, the steep grassy slopes of Monte Cuar and Monte Flagjel filled the field of view.

It was cold and I bundled up quickly.  The ride down was gorgeous and easy.  No need to avoid rocks like on a road bike, just let it roll.  I'll try to return next summer and hike to the summit.

Do not turn right for Malga Cuar; construction is complete,
you can go straight ahead on the gravel road

View to north

Toward Cuar

Lago Cavazzo, Monte Festa, Monte San Simeone

Flagjel summit looks easy

Climb from  river bank to
Monte Prat-Avasins road

Climb to near Malga Cuar

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