PASSO MENGHEN FROM BORGO VALSUGANA BIKE CLIMB | TRENTO PROVINCE
Passo Menghen is one of the many classic bike routes you should ride if you are visiting Italy. Passo Menghen is located in the Lagorai Group of the Dolomite Mountain, in the Trento-Alto Adige region. The pass connects the valley of Valsugana with the Fiemme valley, and links the two towns of Castelnuovo and Molina. Sitting at 2047 meters (6,716 ft.) it is amongst the highest roads in Italy and the climb itself is rated in the top 20. (for Italy).
The pass of Menghen has been part of the Campagnolo granfondo for several years and in 2008 the Giro d'Italia passed over on it's way to finishing in San Martino di C. This year the 2012 Giro d'Italia will be passing over passo Menghen once again. This is a great ride and much more challenging then it looks on paper.
Maps: This climb is on both the Touring Club Italian Trentino-Alto Adige map and Veneto Map.
The best time to ride this route is between June and October. The pass could be open in other months depending on snow conditions.
DETAILS OF THE CLIMB
|Elevation at Start||381 meters|
|Elevation at Top||2042·meters|
|Average Grade||7 %|
GETTING TO THE RIDE
Passo Menghen can be reached by riding the Valsugana bike path from Trento south or north from Bassano del Grappa. If you wanted to ride just the climb you can take the train that runs between Trento and Bassano del Grappa, getting off in Borga Valsugana
CYCLING PASSO MENGHEN FROM CASTELNUOVO
The Passo Menghen bike climb is a great bicycle tour to do while you are Italy. This is a very isolated climb so you should consider doing the ride supported or as part of a group. If you are planning on doing just the ascent and descent from Castelnuovo or Borgo Valsugana you should have no problems.
Starting from Castelnuovo just need to follow the signs for passo Menghen. The first 2·km is up to a rotary that links you with the road from Borgo Valsugana and you are always following the signs toward passo Menghen. My computer was reading 6% for most of the way up this section. After the rotary you have a section averaging 4.9% until you reach Telva, you do not actually go into the town, the main road contours around and at the 4.4 km point you will turn right following the signs toward Passo Menghen. Up to this point this is the most scenic part of the ride with some great views of the Valsugana in the direction of Bassano del Grappa and the Asiago Plateau.
After Telva and turning right you start riding though the val Calamento forest for a little more than 4 km. This section averages 6.7% and has sections up to 11%. On my computer it showed 12 and 13% several times. Around the 8 km mark there is a small bar on the right if you need supplies or restroom this is generally you last open establishment on most days.
At about the 9.2 km mark the climb will lessen to about 4.8% average until you get to the 12.5 km point. This is the best place to refuel and drink, try to resist driving hard during this section or you will pay later. There are a couple of fountains along this section be sure to fill up because after val Calamento village there is only a couple of mountain streams if you run out of water.
From the 12.5 km point you are nearing the village of val Calamento. ·From here you are riding 9.4% average with most of the next 2 km be greater than 10% with short section reading 12-13%. After the village the road narrows and you will have a length of road that will average 5.7% up until the 17.4 km mark. This is also the first time you will get to see the pass in the distance.
From the 17.4 km mark you will now face the hardest part of the climb. The average grade up to from this point is 9.9% and you will have just over 7 km remaining. There are several points of 12 and 13% as the road crawls up the bowl leading to the pass.
At the pass there is the sign post and a cross. If you continue over the pass and about 100 meters down on the Molina side is a Refugio that is generally open. But plan on being alone and self-sufficient.
During the descent back down the valley there were two to three sign posts for 15%. Also my computer read about 2 % harder in many of the listing on salita.ch's and citybikes profiles. The profile I posted below is from the 2008 official Giro altimeter and even it has a few different reading then my computers.
There is little travel during the week days but this pass seems to be listed on the motorcycle tour listing so on Saturday and Sunday you get allot of motorcycles on the road, I would try to schedule my ride on a different day.
Borgo Valsugana can be reached by Train from Trento and Bassano del Grappa. The climb starts from the train station.
Planning a Dolomite Bike Tour check out our Classic Climbs of the Dolomite's Bike Tour