Pratopiazza

Amazing ride on a smooth military road as far as the enchanting grazing meadows of Pratopiazza, with stunning views of Croda Rossa and Durrenstein mountains.

 

Suggested period: Every day from May 15th, 2018 to September 30th, 2018

Suggested departure time: 10.00 a.m.

Grade: uphill 3/10, downhill 4/10

Elevation gain: 1000 m

Elevation loss: 1000 m

Length: 52 km

Estimated Time: 4-6 hours

Physical Effort: Medium; good MTB skill level is required

Suggested minimum age: 14

 

Take the bike path heading north, after 15 km you reach Passo Cimabanche. Continue along the main road for 2 km and, right before the small village of Carbonin (1440 m), turn left uphill on the dirt road leading to Pratopiazza.

Drinkable water is available at the beginning and at 2/3 of the ascent. Along the route there are two gates to control the grazing livestock, take care to always close them.

Start riding up the dirt road, which is in good conditions, with long diagonal stretches and mild steepness.

As you climb, the view unfolds onto the awe-inspiring north face of Mt Cristallo and its small Val Fonda glacier. On top of the hill, you will be startled by the spectacular panorama of the most beautiful high mountain pasturelands in the Dolomites.

After 5.5. km from the start, you reach the Prato Piazza plateau (2001m). From here, you may either continue uphill to the right for a few dozen metres towards Rifugio Vallandro (2012 m) or along the level dirt road – which is worth riding for its whole length (about 1.5 km) – to reach the Malga (slightly uphill on trail) and Rifugio Prato Piazza (1990 m), where there is a e-bike charging station available for free.

The return is on the same route.

 

Did you know that…

The Pratopiazza fort is part of the great system of Austrian fortifications on the Italian border. During World War 1, the fort was incessantly attacked by the Italian artillery which stationed on Mt Cristallo, just opposite Pratopiazza. For this reason, it was disarmed and its artillery was moved outside in the open air in optimum firing position.

Nonetheless, the fort, being erected on high grounds, turned out to be very useful as look-out to control the Italian emplacements.

In summer 2010, the RAI (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) filmed the TV series “Un passo dal cielo” near the Braies lake. In some shots (in particular in the 3rd episode) you can notice the renovated interior.

Rest stops:

Rifugio Vallandro: 0039 0474 972505

Rifugio Prato Piazza: 0039 0474 748650

Chalet Cimabanche: 0039 0474 972442

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