The easiest of the four peaks that form the Sella Ronda, the Passo Campolongo may only be six kilometres in length on its longest side but it is still to be treated with respect. Climbed twice during the famous Maratona dles Dolomites and as the first climb on the 138km route it can be very congested as riders of all abilities either struggle to climb or struggle to pass those struggling to climb. The best riding experience is to be had heading south but if you’re looking for the best visual stimulation then you need to be descending, heading north into the Alta Badia.
The Giro d’Italia has to date crossed the climb a total of 14 times but always onto or away from tougher obstacles so the climb has thus not been the venue for any remarkable victories.
- From Corvara -
As the easiest and shortest climb on both the Sella Ronda and the Maratona dles Dolomites you may assume it is a walk in the park but like all mountain roads you underestimate it at your peril. The climb begins its ascent in the center of Corvara with a straight ramp and then as you start to leave town the hairpins start.
Unlike most mountain passes where the corners allow a period of respite from the tough straights between them, the bends on the Campolongo are the opposite. They are in fact steeper than the straights so need a bit more of a push to get round each one. After two kilometres of relentless turns the road then straights up and the last four kilometers are in an almost direct line all the way to the many cafés and restaurants at the top.
Points of interest
Maratona dles Dolomites
The Passo Campolongo is the first climb on the annual Maratona dles Dolomites sportive and the only ascent on the route to be ridden twice.
There are 13 hairpins bends on the northern side of the climb rising out of Corvara all crammed into the first two kilometres but only five on the southern flank from Arabba.
After two kilometres and the barrage of 13 hairpins you reach the Alta Badia golf course home to nine holes set in surroundings more beautiful than even the Augusta National.
The northern side of the pass lies on a permanent moving landslide which leaves the road covered in cracks which requires it to be repaved once a year so it is in good condition for the Maratona.
From the top of the Campolongo you can swap two wheels for two feet and set off for a hike up to Piz Boè, or in the other direction the “Cherz” highland.
"The Campolongo is the perfect place to practice both climbing and descending through hairpin bends."
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