Highest Point:
Southern Approach:

from Tolmelzo (~310m)

from Paluzza (602m) 753m 16+1/2km

from Timau (816m) 549m 10+1/2km

Northern Approach:

from Koetschach-Mauthen (700m) 665m ~14km ~25m
photo page

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This pass through the Carniche alps is a main road connection between Austria and Italy. Even though the road is drawn in red on the map, traffic is relatively light and good cycling conditions exist.


From South.  Leaving behind Paluzza the road seems to head towards a wall. If it is getting late in the day during a self supported tour, it may worth to consider that between Paluzza and the pass there are only one or two more hotels in Timau, and that's all (or at least it was the sutuation during spring/09).. There are no private rooms along the route, which are so common on the Austrian side. Once above Timau, you get a glimpse of the various tunnels and switchbacks above, located between two mountains that look like two large coins stuck in the ground.  You can only see a few of the switchbacks. When the wheels reach the switchbacks, it becomes clear that three of them are actually inside short tunnels, one of them inside a gallery. As you exit the last short tunnel, the road below seems stacked on top of itself four times. Near the top, the road turns right and the passes between the two large mountain discs.

From North. (described downwards). Italians and Austrians used to shoot at one another across these mountains at the beginning of the century. The border post buildings still stand, but they are unmanned. On the Austrian side stands a large wind turbine, apparently harvesting the wind coming from Italy. You catch a glimpse of it and immediately enter a very long tunnel. When you emerge the scene has changed completely. The mountains behind now look juast as imposing as they did from Timau on the other side and 800 meters lower. A few switchbacks - a bridge or two, and the road enters another tunnel. Koetchach-Mauthen has two supermarkets, including a Lidl, which have a much larger selection of goods than on the Italian side.

a day on a tour:

(<Forcella di Lius|Kartischer Sattel>)
PLoeckenpass: Timau > Ploeckenpass > west up the Lesachtal in Austria > up towards Kartischer Sattel as far as Obertillach: 39 miles with 5400ft of climbing in 4:4hours.
Notes: This includes time to get a room, which this time took no time at all (VDO MC1.0 m4:9.6.18).

A Dayride starting from the end location of this day, Obertiliach, is on page: Tiliacher Joch

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