Cycling Monte Grappa - Cavaso del Tomba
Ride 21.6 km gaining 1541m at 6.4%.
All 5 climbs up the southern face of Monte Grappa (Semonzo, Crespano, Fietta, Possagno and Cavaso del Tomba) have extreme initial grades. From mile/km .2/.3 to mile/km 2.7/4.3 the grade averages 12.5% and we encounter a couple of 20%+ brief segments during this stretch.
First and toughest segment of Cavaso del Tomba ascent
Shut up legs!!
All Monte Grappa southern face ascents include switchbacks (even for military purposes, there is just no engineering a straight road up this monster!)
All 11 routes up Monte Grappa ultimately connect. At mile/km 3 / 4.8 Cavaso merges with the Pedrobba from the east (to our right), enter Alano again from our right at mile/km 3.6/5.8. Next, the climbs to our west begin to enter from our left as we travel easterly - Possagno at 4.8/7.7, Fietta at 7/11.2, the dirt and gravel Crespano route crosses our path at Refugio Ardosetta (11m/17.7km; later joining from the right at mile/km 12.5/20), and finally Semonzo at 11.8/19 and our final merge is .4 miles/.6 km from the top as we merge with the northern 3 climbs (Cismon, Caupo and Seren) and Romano d’Ezzelino.
After climbing a couple extended steep sections (a) 12.5% for 2.5 miles/4 km beginning at near the start of the climbs and (b) 11.3% for a 2.7 mile/4.3km stretch beginning at mile/km 3.8/6., we enter ranch and open meadow area at mile 6.5/km 10.5 where we encounter a 2-part descent totaling -500’ over a 1.6 mile/2.6 km stretch.
Sheep and cattle along this agricultural segment
SP 19 (Strada Provinciale)
As with all routes up Monte Grappa, there are monuments and/or remnants of WW I along this route:
WW I tunnel
Memorial at mile 9.7 and Pian Dela Bala trail
Around mile 10/km 16 we encounter 4 short and old (WWI vintage) tunnels (Google Street View) which often have a group of donkeys in or near them. The road is very narrow and with a sheer drop off to the left as we ride for a mile/1.6 km along this segment - there are exceptional views along this stretch back to the Pian Dela Bala (a gnarly narrow military inspired walking trail along a sheer cliff).
One of 4 tunnels at mile 10 / km 16 and their frequent occupants
3 tunnels on the way to the top
The tunnel section is bordered by cliffs
All 11 Monte Grappa routes end at the Rifugio Bassano a Cima Grappa which is a cafe with many outside chairs and tables and is frequented by many cyclists each day - this is a very popular Italian cycling destination. The Rifugio is just below the Sacrario del Monte Grappa which is a monumental burial site for approximately 20,000 of the Italian and Austrian soldiers who died in battle on the hillsides of Monte Grappa during World War I.
WW I Memorial - Rifugio in background
History museum at the top
Sacrario del Monte Grappa
PJAMM climbed Cavaso del Tomba and Pedrobba August 31, 2016
One of our all time favorite cycling adventures.
We LOVE Monte Grappa!
10 (Romano d’Ezzilino)
16 (Cavaso del Tomba)
Steepest kilometer starts at km 1 (15.1%!!)