CyclingUp: Passo del Mortirolo-west







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Region: Italian Alps
Climbing effort: 1850 points
Elevation meters: 1305
Steepest kilometer: 15.0%

Foot: 552 m    Top: 1852 m
Mean slope: 10.6%
Length: 12.3 km

From: Mazzo in Valtellina
Road conditions (2016): moderate
Other race bikers: 5-10 per hour
Motor vehicles: 10-30 per hour
Scenerie and road: (3/5)
Restaurant or bar near top: no

PHOTOS      SE SIDE


       


There are a number of options to cycle to the Passo del Mortirolo but the variant described here, which begins in Mazzo di Valtellina, made this pass famous. The road was paved only in 1990, especially for the Giro d'Italia, and from then until 2016 it was climbed ten times during the Giro. The Mortirolo owes its fame to its extraordinary steepness. In the five-kilometer long section, which begins after three and a half kilometers of cycling, the average gradient is 13.1%. This section also includes the steepest kilometer of the whole ascent (15.0%). In addition, the slope varies again and again on scales smaller than 500 meters. Thus, there are sections that are even steeper than the gradient of the intervals of the profile below. The advantage of this variation is that one can recover somewhat in parts that are less steep but who really succeeds to recover when the slope still measures ten percent? Obviously an extremely light gear is needed. Fortunately, the last four kilometers, which begin more or less at the monument to Marco Pantani in turn 11, are, with an average slope of 9.8%, relatively easy, that is, they are as steep as a normal hard climb. The destination is located at the Passo della Foppa (1852 m), also known as Mortirolo, but curiously the real Passo del Mortirolo (1896 meters) is located at a different place, namely if you turn right at the fork behind the Passo della Foppa and then continue for about one kilometer. The whole road from Mazzo to the pass is in a pretty bad condition and it is so narrow that oncoming cars can hardly move past each other. Fortunately, there is little traffic in this area that has hardly been discovered by tourism.



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