|Height||Climbing height - length|
|1738m||1730m - 24.85 km - 7.0% (Cismon del Grappa)
1671m - 28.60 km - 5.9% (Caupo)
1556m - 24.86 km - 6.3% (Seren del Grappa)
1623m - 22.48 km - 7.2% (Alano di Piave)
1687m - 24.82 km - 6.8% (Pederobba)
1679m - 23.99 km - 7.0% (Pederobba-Berengan)
1643m - 22.60 km - 7.3% (Pieve/Cavaso)
1630m - 20.65 km - 7.9% (Possagno)
1562m - 21.54 km - 7.3% (Quattro Strade/Fietta)
1585m - 19.78 km - 8.0% (Semonzo)
1592m - 26.37 km - 6.0% (Romano d’Ezzelino)
|3-4 (5) (Romano, Caupo); 5 (5) (Possagno)
4 (5) (Alano di Piave, Pederobba, Pieve);
4-5 (5) (Cismon, Seren, Quattro Strade, Semonzo)
|3 (5) (Romano, Semonzo); 4 (5) (Caupo, Seren)
4-5 (5) (the others)
|How to get there||
Monte Grappa is one of the most famous mountains in the Italian Alps and so also for the bicycle climbs. The mountain was first part of the Giro d’Italia in 1968 and then in 2014 (they passed over the mountain two more times without visiting the top). The Monte Grappa Challenge was arranged for several years (I participated twice). There is also the classic yearly race from Bassano del Grappa to the top. There are 10 different climbs usually considered, but I include also an 11th variant that appears all asphalted starting at via Berengan in Pederobba.
Clockwise from the latest paved climb, the climbs are: Cismon del Grappa (Porteghetti) (199m) – this climb starts just north of Cismon on the road to Trento from Bassano. Few maps shows the road accurately and after much comparing different maps and satellite images it turns out the OSM maps are more accurate than either the Google satellite images or road map & also the Veneto technical maps are not correct here. The Tabacco 051 map shows the start of the road, but does not show it later on. I have not done this climb, but it should be steep early on up through the forest above Corlo with up to 18%. Eventually you reach Case Costa with good views where you cross a crest of the mountain that you then comes back to again higher up at Col dei Prai and the Portella (1294m). There might still be a short stretch of gravel up to there and the last part slightly down to the main road from Caupo to Menaˇr (1395m) is also still gravel, but should be easy. The rest of the climb is the same as from Caupo. This should be the nicest climb not coming from the southeast.
The climb from Caupo (Seren del Grappa) (335m) is on a good road (though roads have lately deteriorated much in the area, so it could have changed, but sometimes the roads also get new asphalt). This climb is a bit like the classic climb from Romano d’Ezzelino being somewhat easy, but it also feels quite long and has a bit more ups and downs than the Romano climb. It is mostly demanding for being a long climb, but it is seldom above 10%.
The climb from Seren del Grappa (356m), where I choose the starting point a bit after coming down from the village (which is otherwise the obvious starting point)) into the Val dello Stizzon. This is a sweet climb that may seem like an easy way up and it starts flat and then only climbs slowly into the valley and you see the mountain raise before you as a rock wall. There is a problem though – you start the more normal climbing up through Chiesa Nuova S. Luigi (where I think you can fill up water), but then the road starts to climb very steeply and reaches 24% at the maximum. The steepness ends as you reach the open area below Forcelletto (1391m), where you then joins the Caupo road to go around the Monte Grappa mountain and climb the last part up the same way as from every starting point.
From the east you can start below Feltre & west of Valdobbiadene in Alano di Piave (288m) and climb via the Passo Monte Tomba/Passo del Tomba (864m) (the only sign with the pass name is on one the two starting roads in Alano). This climb is not so hard, but it is long and it joins several of the other climbs after the Monte Tomba and then climbs the ridge up to the Monte Grappa, where it is sometimes fairly steep, but never extremely so. There are also a longer downhill section after La Vedetta/Bocchetta dell’Archeson (1445m). The road is very nice up to La Vedetta, but it is especially nice on the other side of the Monte Boccaor (seemingly a pass there too at 1374m). Here you come to a tunnel and the mountain is very steep down the side of the road that is carved into the mountainside here. Great views! After this section the road climbs steeper again up the mountain to join the main road near the top.
From the southeast you can start in Pederobba (214m) and go via Monfenera and Monte Tomba (856m) or joining that road just after Monte Tomba, but before the pass and the turn-off for Alano di Pieve. A variant I mentioned is to take the via Berengan at the west end of Pederobba (222m) and join the other road just before the above mentioned road choice. This later variant is the shorter and steeper climb. I do not show the road via Monfenera and Monte Tomba as it is longer to Monte Grappa, but it looks more scenic!
On my visit to Monte Tomba I took the road from Pieve (Cavaso del Tomba) (258m) which is also the steepest road up there with up to ca. 17%, but for some reason I thought it was not so very steep (maybe because the salite.ch profile suggests it should be up to 20%). As I went down to Alano di Pieve I never got to see the likely nice stretch from Passo del Tomba up the ridge, but on my second visit to the Monte Grappa I went up the next road after Cavaso to the west so have only missed a short stretch.
The next climb is the much feared climb from Possagno (269m) on the Strada degli Alpini, which joins the road from Passo del Tomba a short while before arriving at a turn-off at Bocca di Forca (1401m) which is sometimes counted as the end of this climb. This road is up to 29% (for ca. 50m, definitely between 27-29%) according to my Ciclosport computer and also from all cross references/experiences. I was bitten by a stinging fly on the steepest stretch and had to choose to make the climb or kill the fly and decided to do the climb, but managed to kill the fly when it tried to bite me a second time. Then I anyway had to stop a bit higher up on flatter ground because of a terrible blizzard, but at least I was happy to have made it up the steepest part in time. This climb continues all the way up to Monte Grappa counts as among the maybe 10-20 hardest climbs in all of the Alps possible to climb on a road bike.
There are more difficult climbs up to Monte Grappa and the next one starts in Quattro Strade/Fietta (337m) (Paderno del Grappa or Fietta are usually mentioned as the start, but never the locality Quattro Strade itself despite that it is just where the normal start is). This was the first climb of the Monte Grappa Challenge and last time I took part (2014) I stayed at the hotel just at the start. This is a really hard climb too and it is likely steeper on average for a longer stretch than even the terrible Possagno climb. It starts nice, but the higher up you go the steeper it gets and it is around 20% max, but for a long, long stretch above 15%. When you arrive at the Salto della Capra where the road joins the Monte Tomba road you are likely already quite tired. After La Vedetta/Archeson you get some welcome rest.
Now we only have left the two most direct climbs to the top and the ones most used in races. The climb from Semonzo (173m) is the shortest climb to the top and also the steepest on average at 8.0% for 19.78 km. One could also start at Semonzetto (via Chiesa) (177m), but both roads meet before the church in Semonzo, which is often regarded as the real start of the climb. This is indeed a hard climb and many think it is one of the hardest, probably because the road is narrow and the steepness is very irregular and goes up to 14-16% in the middle. I thought it was not so bad, being a heavier rider it is welcome it is almost never above 14%. This road is a bit tricky to descend fast!
At last the classic climb from near Bassano del Grappa starts in Romano d’Ezzelino (169m) and goes in wide serpentines up to Campo Solagna (1017m) where there is a short downhill and then a long ride to the top. This climb is popular because the road is wider and it is seldom above 10%, but it is a long climb, just like the Caupo one, but also less scenic.
The Rifugio Bassano (1730m) (restaurant) sit at the top and at the end of the parking is a turnpike (1738m, which I count as the reasonable normal end). You can however continue on a paved road to ca. 1752m, but the last stretch up to the gigantic war memorial (1776m) is not paved, but still worth a visit in fine weather. One can also continue up to the twin peak (roughly one metre lower, but rounds off to 1776m as well) for additional views up north and the road apparently is paved to the top there.
|Other comments||Now that the Monte Grappa Challenge has been discontinued there is still a Brevetto one could take part in to do 3, 5 or 10 climbs at once and get stamps at control stations along the way. Search Facebook & the web for their page. Also, see my tours from 2010, 2012 and 2014 for my experience in visiting the Monte Grappa. I did the 5 climbs in MGC in 2010, then only visited the MGC event when climbing the Strada degli Alpini on the same day as the MGC in 2012. In 2014 I only did the two basic first climbs of the MGC, but got really tired even so. It is a lovely mountain and I hope they will keep up the roads – the classic main road was in a terrible state in 2014, while it was perfectly smooth in 2010. April Pedersen has written much on her Magico Veneto website too (was supposed to have met her in 2006, but got short on time, as usual).
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