Cycling Passo Pordoi & Passo Sella
“OMG,” said the atheist. “Welcome to the Dolomites,” said god.
Today I rode from the Hotel Al Forte to Pozza di Fassa, via the Pordoi and Sella. Although this ride was under 50 miles, ya know you’re in un-flat terrain when you rack up over 10,000 ft vertical in that distance.
What can I say about this ride other than it was mind-blowing natural beauty and superb cycling? Neither the Pordoi or Sella is particularly steep, but they are both long, Especially the Pordoi, which happens to be the highest paved road in the Dolomites. From Wikipedia:
Pordoi is a pass in the Dolomites in the Alps, located between the Sella group in the north and the Marmolada group in the south. The pass is at an altitude of 2,239 m (7,346 ft), and the road crossing the pass connects Arabba (Livinallongo del Col di Lana) with Canazei (Fascia Valley).
Up so high the weather will change quickly. I had my arm and knee warmers, and vest on and off several times. Plan for varied to extreme conditions no matter the forecast.
When you have the quintessential vision of the Dolomites, it may be the Sella. Photos don’t do it justice. It’s a 360-degree experience (with several thousand vertical in the mix). You have to be there to get the full impact. It’s often difficult to take a picture of the Dolomite spires and faces because the mountain is too close and too big to get it in the camera. Indeed, these are first-world problems.
Shortly after topping the Sella, I stopped at a little bar on the right. There I bought a prosciutto and formaggio sandwich (so good!), a CO2 cartridge (cannot take those on planes), and an espresso (duh). Recharged, I charged down the hill to La Pozza di Fassa, a ski resort town.
Sella vs Pordoi
The Sella is the more photogenic of the two and a bit shorter. I somewhat enjoyed the ride of the Pordoi a bit more. But I’m splitting hairs. They are a stellar combo as far as beauty and fantastic reading. These both should be in the “must do” list for any cyclist that appreciates climbing, descending, and over the top natural beauty. If you are a coffee snob and/or appreciate really good food/wine, then it doesn’t hurt that these are both located in Italy.
Here is the Strava of this ride