Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Coltura-Piancavallo MTB

A cold front blew through yesterday, dropping temps and clearing the haze from our skies.  I hopped on the MTB and cruised down to Coltura.  You must find Via San Michele and head west.  Pavement ends shortly and you start climbing hard.  Today finding my way was easy because the trail is marked for the Troi Trek MTB race.  You pass several summer houses, usually deserted but today full of extended families and kids for Ferragosto.  Climb more, past casere and rifugio, through the faggio forest of the Cansiglio.  Eventually you end up at Torrone, pass the turnoff  for Casa Forestale Candiglia and head toward Piancavallo.  There were many more hikers, bikers than usual and even some cars but no problems.

After Piancavallo I descended via Bornass (deserted) to Madonna della Mont and climbed up to Gias, very tired.  What a glorious ride.

Emerging from the forest
onto the grassy altopiano  


Crode San Tome


Descent to Piancavallo

Mountainside sweeping down to Torrente Artugna

From Coltura to Valle Friz

Monday, August 13, 2018

Passo Monte Rest

Finally finished the road repairs which kept the pass closed for a few extra months.  Even near Ferragosto with motorcycles and cars and many cyclists Monte Rest manages to feel wild.  Very lucky to have such a gorgeous ride so near at hand.  Even a cloudburst from Maniago to Montereale could not dampen the joy.

Bear caves with motion sensing cameras

This shepherd has a great pair of dogs to control his flock

Circling 'round at full speed 

This is only the pass climb; the approach
probably doubles its altitude gain

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Troi dei Vuolth Hike

Troi dei Vuolth is an alternative trail to Casera di Giais for hikers coming from Selva.  Not too well marked after Baitola Polo, but if you watch carefully, especially through the boscaglia, you can see the junctions.   Grass was about 4 feet high even on the main trail CAI 986 so you must watch your step. At the top I checked out Monte di Mezzo, where I got so lost a few months ago.  Scary even looking at it.

Walking down I was very careful of my knees and avoided any problems.  Slow but worthwhile.  The trails and scenery of Giais are so beautiful I want to enjoy them more often.

Baitola Polo
From the baitola la boscaglia  and the grassy slopes 

View of Cortina

Selva e Glera
Casera di Giais

Toward Monte Ciastelat

My nemesis Monte di Mezzo

Casera Valfredda

Cima Valfredda

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Monte Cuar MTB/Hike

Monte Cuar/Flagjel is one of the distinctive peak shapes you can see for many miles; it looks like two Twin Peaks with a parabola draped between them.  I've ridden up to the malga where the gravel road  passes below them but never made it to the summit.  Until today.

You start just after Peonis at a left marked Cjanet.  This stack of tornanti has a very shady, sweet gradient for warming up.  Eventually you turn sharply right onto a gravel road and climb all the way up to the paved road for Cuel di Forchia and Avistanis.  Turn right and in a few minutes reach a gravel road on your left.  This switchbacks up toward the malga, but well before you get there turn onto side trail to your left marked Monte Cuar.  Hop off your bike and lock/hide it.  Hike steeply upward following CAI red markings.  Here I encountered my first human of the day, a middle aged hiker descending with trekking poles.  She was doing really well given the gradient.  Keep going to the top (the trail continues to Flagjel).  Great views up here though hazy today.  I descended slowly to protect my gimpy knees.  

Back on the bike the descent was great though quite jarring.  I need to let some air out of the fork.
Anyway, other than the hiker I mentioned, I saw one other MTB'er and a small reddish deer.  Naturally a Griffone vulture was lazily circling above me on the ascent, patiently waiting for me to drop.  Not today, but time is on his side.
Monte Flagjel to the west

Pielungo, Forno

Val Arzino, Fiume Tagliamento 

Peaks to northwest

View to north

Campanella Monte Cuar

Monte Cuar

Monte Prat altopiano,
Monte Ragogna background

The climb

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Monte Grappa from Romano d'Ezzelino

Of the 9 or 10 routes I've tried up Monte Grappa I think this might be the least painful.  There's still pain of course but slightly less.  There's even a couple of flattish km after the the starting 12km of continual steepness.  It's short-lived though and soon you're grinding again.  Not complaining though, it was worth the effort just to escape the heat wave down on the plains.  Nice and fresh up here.  

At the summit fog was roiling up and over the slopes.  It wasn't too bad as you can see from the photo.  The descent was absolutely glorious, didn't even feel arthritis using the Viner's rim brakes.  
Will have to try this again next year.

Small memorial near summit

Monte Coston area on descent

Long climb

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Madean-Pianezze-Rifigio Mareich

I needed to test my new front wheel when braking hard so I headed toward Valdobbiadene.  After parking at Follina I warmed up on the climb to Combai then turned onto Via Madean.  This is a great climb through dense forest, good on a hot day.  At the top it opens up to the beating sun, and you start a rolling traverse  to Pianezze.

Here you start the second climb of the day to Rifugio Mareich, which is less shaded but cooler at altitude.  At end of pavement I turned around and headed back.  Fun descent but long.

Campagnolo Khamsin wheel passed the
Madean descent torture test

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Monte Dolada

Monte Dolada is a classic: 10 km averaging 10% gradient, engulfed in grassy alpine meadows and beech forest, above Lago di Santa Croce.  


Lakeside view of Dolada (on left) and companions

At end of climb the trees have an epiphyte
similar to Spanish Moss. Deer seem to love it.

View from hang glider launch of Alpago conch valley

Lago di Santa Croche from Pieve d'Alpago

The climb