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Old 09-25-09, 10:26 AM   #1
Ken Roberts
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more climbs in Italy, incl the toughest road climb.

I had a great time last week exploring some more climbs in northeast Italy, especially Trentino -- see Report

Some were shorter but interesting and pretty. Three were bigger:
Balcone di M Baldo: Getting up on the "balcony" high on the east side of Monte Baldo, this one was also pretty -- prettiness that went on for a long ways -- big views east over the Adige valley.

Two of the big climbs were not pretty -- just big challenges.
Telegrafo: One is the climb from the east side of lake Garda up to the Passo di Telegrafo, a shoulder on the west side of the M Baldo ridge -- important because it's steepness and size is similar to the notorious Monte Zoncolan west climb (Giro d'Italia 2007, I think the hardest climb ever included in the Giro) -- the advantage the Telegrafo climb is that you can take on this physical challenge close to lots of other known good riding (instead of driving three hours east to some place not known).

Toughest of all. Not just in Italy. Not just the toughest sealed-surface road in Europe. But I've never heard any serious proposal of a contending road climb in the world.
Scanuppia - Malga Palazzo from Besenello.

I've tried lots of climbs that turned out to be over-hyped. But Scanuppia is the real deal.
Actually there is an element of hype for Scanuppia: the sign that says 45% steepness grade. But even after you take the usual road-authority exaggeration down to below 30%, Scanuppia still stands above the others. It includes 1200 vertical feet at steepness averaging around 24% grade, then later 2000 vertical feet around 17-19% grade.
I failed to climb it. Didn't even come close. And I'm never going to succeed on it. First climb ever to beat me.

see detail page (what it's like, how to find it, links to photos)

Ken

Last edited by Ken Roberts; 09-25-09 at 10:33 AM. Reason: fix a couple words
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Old 08-22-11, 06:24 PM   #2
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Being a new member to the forum, I noticed quickly you have covered alot of ground in Western Europe. I have done some obscure climbs myself, but clearly not nearly as many as you.

One I offer up, if you have not previously come across it, is the Col de Fauniera---it begins about 10k west of Cuneo in NW Italy. The climb proper begins in the village of Pradleves and cuts SW for 9.5 miles---A total elevation gain of 5400---not sure what that math works out to ---north of 10% I believe average gradient----It was to be the next to last climb in the 2001 Giro stage that got cancelled due to the rider strike because of the middle of the night San Remo drug raids.

Hardest slab of rock I have come across with moderate length.

Look forward to reading other of your posts.
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Old 08-22-11, 08:17 PM   #3
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Ken,

I have never seen anything like those gradients!!

What gearing did you use to try it? Do you think it might be achievable with a triple crankset---perhaps 34-26----similar ratio to what some used on Plan de Corones in the Giro?
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Old 08-31-11, 04:28 PM   #4
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My wife has family in Calabria. This route, just a few miles from where we stay, has two good climbs: from sea level to 3700 ft in 9 miles and from 2000ft above sea level to 3700 ft in 2.5 miles. the second climb includes a 22% average grade for a KM, climbing 723 ft in that distance. The route provides 5750 ft of climbing in the first 20 miles.

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view..._done=1#climbs

The winter-free weather is a plus, too.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 09-04-11 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 09-03-11, 09:01 AM   #5
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I've added a second route. This one is 100% pavement. Not as steep as the route above, but the length of the climbs are remarkable;

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view...pen_ive_done=1

The first climb is a 7.7% (average), 3564 vertical ft climb in 8.77 miles.

The second climb is a 6.4%, 4755 vertical ft climb in 14.2 miles.

The route summits at the highest point in southern Italy, (6170 ft) less than 45 miles from the coast.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 09-03-11 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 10-26-11, 05:04 AM   #6
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That'll get your heart pumping!
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