Starting in Piasco I headed out of the small town on the SP8. There were loads of cars at 8am Sunday morning. The road is barely going up - may be 2% for a long while and as more and more cars went by I gradualy gained over 700m of height over 35km. The cars were all heading for the cooler hills and were parking up beside the stream so people could set up for a day of paddling in the ice water.
Eventually, near Castel the road went up more significantly with a good 8% pitch, but then leveled off again beside the main target for all the remaining cars - a big lake with lots of tourist resources. Once past this the real climbing started and it was a beast.
Long ramps, with very few turns but all at 11% minimum get you on your way. Its hard and after climbing out of sight of the lake you get a very long straight may be 1km and all at 11% so super tough. This eventually ends with more switchbacks but all still going upwards very steeply. There is a brief respite in a flatter meadow where lots of cars park up - now at about 2,000m and then there is yet more climbing between 11 and 14%.
I'd say it was the toughest climb I've ever done. Just unrelenting all the way to the top - where there is no bar or refreshments. I was exhilarated on the basis of achieving something really hard to do. A true "experience" way beyond my normal climbing experience.
|Right at the top is a mountain which is supposed to be the model for the Paramount film company logo...|