Cycing Nigerpass and the Rosengarten
I asked my friend Lennard Zinn about his favorite climbs in the Dolomites. His list:
- The Sella Ronda, Passo Giau (actually, the entire Maratona dles Dolomites Gran Fondo course)
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo
- Passo Fedaia (Marmolada)
- Passo Manghen
- Passo Croce d’Aune
- Passo Duran
- Passo Rolle, Passo Cima Campo, and Passo San Pellegrino are not as good as the others but still very nice
The Rosengarten was unfamiliar to me and was very near to Arabba so I gave it a look. (And it didn’t disappoint!)
Nigerpass/Passo Nigra is a peaks at an elevation of 1,688 m (5,538 ft). It links Tierser Tal and the Karerpass and has a maximum grade of 24%. That said, it’s not the hardest climb or longest ascent in the Dolomites.
The highlight of this ride is the Rosengarten group, a massif of dolomite. It is named the Rosengarten (pink garden) due to the pink glow the dolomite rock exudes during sunrise and sunset. Even at the peak of day, it’s stunning.
To Ride or Not to Ride
YES. The Nigerpass is a cycling treasure. It’s one of the best climbs you probably have never heard of.
A fun aspect of this ride is that all the road signs switch from Italian to German once you start descending into Tiers, where I bought a sandwich (speck, butter) in a little bar. The culture change continued inside said bar. The waitress who served me was wearing a dirndl and everything was in German. I brushed off my high school German and wow’d her with a confident “Guten tag.”
I love how you can go over a mountain and the culture and language can be completely different. Go forth and ride the Nigerpass. You will be rewarded with the Rosengarten.