First Thoughts: Stelvio and Gavia

Italy, specifically this part of Lombardy, is simply unbelievable. A rare feeling to ride a bike above the clouds, to pass from a warm valley upwards to a level where there is snow all around. To get there under your own power, that is a special feeling.

In four days I have climbed Gavia, Stelvio and a further 1,000 meters to the Lago delle Scale. So, in the last week, that’s over 4,000 meters climbed. Happy with that.

What is missing from the list? Mortirolo was, for me, always the doubt. It coincided with the one day of bad weather. Hardier members of the group climbed it but I did not think I had the legs so skipped it and took the climb to the lakes. Which was quite tough, combined as it was with a descent in pouring rain.

Also missing is the Umbrail Pass. This should have followed Stelvio but…. well…. the legs said no. So it was time for a descent back to the hotel. Again, hardier members of the group took Umbrail on. Great that they did!

But there is a huge positive. Despite the fact that I hate descents, I actually…. enjoyed the descent from Stelvio to Bormio. More than the climb for once, where I struggled….

This will be a short post. I will write something more next week, give it a couple of days to sink in. But from a cold, factual point of view I have completed two of my three challenges for the year; Mont Ventoux via Sault and Gorges de la Nesque and Stelvio. The third challenge I have still not decided. Hints will help! 

Right now it all has to sink in. Two mountains were climbed. And descended. That”s something for me.

Just in the short it is great to reflect that I can still undertake such challenges. Revelling in the fact that I can get to the top of a mountain and look behind me and say, with a certain amount of pride….. ‘I did that’.

More to come on this…..

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