Piani di Ragnolo: the Laminox climb
Altimetry of the hardest ascent to Piani di Ragnolo, the one that starts from the Laminox factory, in the industrial area of Callarella, near Sarnano. The effort will be really great, but the spectacle of the view at the top will repay it with interests.
|Elevation gain||970 m|
|Elevation loss||3 m|
|Min elevation||542 m|
|Max elevation||1509 m|
|Initial stretch||6,84 km|
|Average gradient of the initial stretch||10,5%|
This is the most difficult and demanding climb of the Sibillini mountains, probably of the whole region. Some call it “Piani di Ragnolo”, others “San Liberato”, because they face it from Pian di Pieca, passing by the famous monastery, but all the cyclists in the area understand if we say “Laminox“. In fact, the crossroads from the SP78 Picena that leads to this Apennine monster is right next to the Laminox factory. After a few hundred meters, the ordeal begins at the crossroads for Campanotico.
The climb to Piani di Ragnolo is almost 12 km long, the average gradient is 8.3%. From these two data it may appear not so demanding. The problem is that it is not constant. To highlight this I wanted to divide it into two ideal segments. The first one is almost 7 kilometers long and its average gradient is 10.5%! Until the junction for the Soffiano cave we have a series of very hard ramps that alternate with small almost flat sections. Then the slope will practically always remain double-digit until the end of the segment, at km 6.8. What characterizes this segment is the succession of hairpin bends, sometimes very narrow, that climb up the mountainside. The presence of the dense bush has the effect of letting the view below be covered, but it gives us precious shaded stretches that relieve the great stress. The most difficult stretch is that of the two hairpin bends near the Fonte Brunforte (Brunforte water source), where we also find a small clearing, which allows you to make a stop to drink and catch your breath. Here the maximum slope is reached, 17%.
We reach the first meadows and the second segment begins, characterized by straights with much more easy slopes. Here you can relax and climb observing the breathtaking view, stopping also to take pictures or breathe the mountain air (in the first part, stopping is difficult, starting again is almost impossible). Behind us all the hills of the Marche region and the Adriatic coast. On the left Pizzo di Chioggia and Sibillini. On the right the lake of Fiastra and the lands of the Duchy of Camerino. In front of us Piani di Ragnolo, with its beautiful cultivated fields at high altitude.
We continue facing some 10% ramps and easy straightaways that up to the GPM (highest point). Here opens an even more spectacular view of the Sibillini. The road from Pintura di Bolognola to the Fargno refuge stands out. It is mandatory to stop to take a photo and enjoy the view and the silence. Heaven after hell …
After this beautiful ascent we reach the Santa Maria Maddalena pass, from where we can go down to Sassotetto and then to Sarnano, or head towards Bolognola and then to the wonderful Lake of Fiastra. I proposed my alternative itinerary in Piani di Ragnolo: Hell and Heaven.
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