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Sacrario del Monte Grappa as viewed from Rifugio Bassano a cima Grappa.
Visit our Monte Grappa homepage for more information on other climbs in the area.
High concentration of tornanti on this climb.
Although not nearly as popular as the Romano d’Ezzilino and Semonzo routes (according to Strava as of September 2016, 300 attempts v. 3,000), this route up Monte Grappa is nonetheless exceptional. The roadway is in very good condition and we are tested from the outset. The first 5.8 miles / 9.3 kilometers average 11.1%, with a 20% 100m stretch around mile 4.7 / km 7.5. We also have more switchbacks along this route than most of the other 10 climbs up the mountain: 25 over a 4.5 mile stretch from mile 2 to mile 6.5 (km 3.2 - 10.4) that averages 11.5%. The most condensed portion of this section has 23 in 3.5 miles/5.6 km.
The roadway is extremely steep for the first half of the climb.
We are generally surrounded by either the mountainside or trees for the first 5½ miles / 9 kilometers, but at the end of that stretch there are some magnificent views southeast towards Venice (33 miles as the crow flies) and the Adriatic Sea, although note that it is often too hazy to see the sea or Venice from that distance.
Views to the south toward Venice and the Adriatic.
As with all routes up Monte Grappa, there are monuments and/or remnants of WWI and, in this case, WWII visible along the climb.
WWII Memorial in Fietta.
The WWI museum just below the memorial at the top.
All 11 routes up Monte Grappa ultimately connect. At mile 6.6 / km 10.6, the Fietta route merges with the eastern and northeastern routes of Possagno, Cavaso del Tomba, Pederobba and Alano. At mile 11.4 / km 18.3 we merge with the route from Semonzo, at mile 11.2 / km 18 the dirt and gravel Crespano route enters the paved roadway from the right, and at mile 7.8 / km 12.5 we merge with the northern three climbs (Cismon, Caupo and Seren) and Romano d’Ezzelino.
At mile 6.6 / km 10.6 we leave the trees and enter the open meadows and ranchland of Monte Grappa. Around mile 10/km 16 we encounter four 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 dropoff to the left as we ride about a mile / 1.6 km beginning at mile 9.8 / km 15.7. There are exceptional views along this stretch back to the Pian Dela Bala (a gnarly, narrow, military inspired walking trail along a sheer cliff).
Looking back from the tunnel segment to Pian Dela Bala.
Unique stretch of road on the routes from Fietta, Posagno, Cavaso del Tomba and Pederobba.
Military road along sheer cliff to the left and through three short but cool tunnels.
Pictured above is one of the four tunnels around mile 10 / km 16.
Cliff and tunnel section of the route from Fietta.
All eleven Monte Grappa routes end at the Rifugio Bassano a Cima Grappa, which is a cafe with many outside chairs and tables, frequented by many cyclists each day, as 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 WWI.
Rifugio Bassano a Cima Grappa.
On our eight trips up Monte Grappa, there were, as often as not, more cyclists than motorists at the top.
PJAMM’S 6 DAY, 11 CLIMB MONTE GRAPPA CHALLENGE
Photos, clockwise from top right: 8-27-16 Romano d’Ezzelino + Caupo;
8-28-16 Seren + Cismon; 8-29-16 Semonzo + Possagno.
Photos, clockwise from top right: 8-30-16 Alano + Fieta;
8-31-16 Pederobba + Cavaso del Tomba; 9-1-16 Crespano
The Sacrario del Monte Grappa and la Madonna del Grappa (chapel on top of the Sacrario).
10 (Romano d’Ezzilino)
16 (Cavaso del Tomba)
Semonzo appears to be the Giro’s choice of Monte Grappa ascents
(we have been unable to identify the Giro routes up Monte Grappa in 1968, 1974 and 1982).
Steepest kilometer starts at km 9.3 (16.3%).