Day 4: Rest Day – Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Today we were supposed to have a rest day. Ajax went hiking, but Rudy and I went for a bike ride. Like a pair of Ethopian refugees after vacuuming up the buffet at Bob’s Big Boy, we could not resist having one more delectable chicken fried steak.
It’s supposed to be a rest day, so we agreed to keep the mileage down. On the other hand, given Tre Cime is so close to Cortina, we, like flies on … er … fly paper, decided to climb Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
First step was to ride east out of Cortina up the Passo Tre Croci (1806m). From there, we headed 2 km north to catch a beautiful view of Lago di Misurina.
And of course, we had to pose in front of the lake, so here is Rudy with Lago di Misurina in the background.
From here, the road to Tre Cime goes up quickly. Like getting hit with a 2×4 in the face, the grade goes immediately to 14%. After a while it subsides to 11% as if to tease you. Then it slowly builds back to 14% and throws in a few 16-20% sections to make sure you are still awake. Honestly, this is one of the most difficult climbs I know of.
Here’s Rudy muscling it though the switchback section.
Most of the road is just straight up, without any switchbacks to give you a rest. Here is Rudy coming out of that switchback section ready to face the purgatory of long 16% grades without a turn in sight.
Finally, here is Rudy near the top, with the Rifugio di Auronzo and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the background.
And to prove I actually made it to the top on my bike, here is a photo of both of us at the top.
We enjoyed the summit for a while, but the clouds were building, so we decided to head down. Just as we started descending, it started raining. Fortunately, it didn’t rain that hard or that long.
On the way down, we were fortunate to climb Passo Cimabanche. Although the total climbing for that summit could not have been more than 50 feet, we did indeed see a pass sign, so we can claim a summit.
We had a nice descent into Cortina and enjoyed a lunch of spaghetti carbonara (me) and pizza with prosciutto (Rudy) before we headed back to the hotel.
- Distance: 38 miles
- 5292’ climbing
- 3 passes: Passo Tre Croci (1806m), Tre Cime di Lavaredo (2320m), Passo Cimabanche (1529m)