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Passo Giau

Sometimes referred to as the beauty and the beast, the Passo Giau is situated a little away from the rest of the main climbs in the Dolomites. Like it needs its own space. At 2,236 metres and a 9% average gradient over 10 kilometres, it's a relentless challenge before you see the beauty beyond the beast.

It's not so much about what you see of the Passo Giau, which isn't much as the gradient will keep you busy. It's more about what you see from the Passo Giau.
The western approach from Selva di Cadoret climbs up a steep, narrow valley constantly crisscrossing the river while keeping up the 9 to 10% gradient for which the Giau is famous, infamous or notorious, depending on how you feel on the day. Once above 2000m, things start to make a lot more sense. The vast summer pastures open out with visas, which, together with the altitude, will take your breath away.

The word Dolomite is now a scientific term used to reference the unique geologic formations of the Dolomite mountains. It doesn't explain how fossilised shellfish are found under the Marmolada Glacier 3342 metres above sea level. But does explain why the Passo Giau feels so prehistoric. If a Pterosaurs flew over the ridge towards you, you’d think, oh look; there’s a Pterosaurs. I must get a selfie.

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