homeCol Carette di Val Bighera
Col Carette di Val Bighera Height Climbing height - length
2097m (road goes to 2131m) 1580m - 18.4 km (Mazzo di Valtellina)
1420m - 19.9 km (Ponte di Grosio)
1630m - 18.8 km (Tovo S. Agata)
1409m - 18.8 km (Edolo)
1206m - 14.3 km (Monno/Ponte dei Pellegrini)
Difficulty Beauty
5 (5) West; 4-5 (5) East 3-4 (5)
How to get there

This pass is a cul-de-sac continuation of another famous pass climb known as ‘Passo del Mortirolo’, but the correct name is Passo della Foppa/Pas de la Foppa (1855m). After a minor descent from the Foppa pass to 1820m one follows a road that is somewhat flat at first as it passes by the the turn-off for Monno/Edolo. The most popular climb starts from the west just north of Tirano in Mazzo di Valtellina (552m). Here along the roadside they have recently raised a statue to the memory of Marco Pantani. There is also a road starting further north (just north of Grosio) at Ponte di Grosio (712m) (might be hard to find (get the Kompass 94 map of the area)).

The eastern approach start in Edolo (688m) if coming from the south or if arriving from Passo del Tonale (1883m) or Passo di Gavia (2618m) you can off to Monno at Ponte dei Pellegrini (891m). It is a very hard climb on any approach road, but the one from Monno is easiest (only the last bit is very steep). The climb from Mazzo has around 15% on average for 5-6 kilometres with a maximum at 20%. From the Foppa pass the road soon start to climb again, but this time it is not quite as steep and it soon turns into more modest climb until you reach the pass itself. There is no asphalt road that one could descend on the other side of this pass. One soon comes to an end on the asphalt road after some descending from the highest point (2031m). There is a gravel road down to Vezza d’Oglio (1050m), but if it can be used with a road bike I do not know.

There is also an interesting climb up from Tovo S. Agata (524m), which starts just before the village if coming from Tirano (there are no sign posts and the road looks like it only goes to a house there). As soon as you reach the woods the road becomes better and steep. The road is asphalted for a very long stretch (and it looked like they were asphalting more of it). The problem is finding the right road over to the normal road up to Passo della Foppa, which I missed myself and went up on a grassy track with concrete ramps up to 32% to eventually meet the Foppa-Trivigno road (which I only saw when I was metres away from it). If you find the gravel road over to the Foppa pass then it should normally be rideable with a road bike. From the new profile at salite.ch it says that there is now only 1 km of gravel left here. You should turn off the road soon after the road you are climbing turns to gravel (which I believe was aspahleted again higher up for an additional kilometre or so). This approach should be the hardest (very irregular) and I found it quite fun. There is also a version up from Mazzo which is a bit harder than the normal road, but I am unsure exactly how this goes so have not tried to map it.

Other comments It would be a nice pass to climb from Vezza d’Oglio if the road will get asphalted. The exact location of this pass is not too obvious from looking at maps as the location is suggested at a strange place that marks where you leave or enter the Bighera valley, which is not at the ”geographical” pass height. Then the asphalt road is not leading to the Bighera valley at all, but still crosses the pass, while it goes above the geographical pass height. The asphalt road goes higher than 2100m where the pass height is located, but there is also no straight line between mountain tops at this point, so I leave the height here at the highest point at the geographical pass that is stated on a map. See also: Passo della Foppa/Pas de la Foppa, Passo di Guspessa and Valico di Trivigno (Monte Padrio). Other information on this pass by Györgyi Gábor and many photos by Piero Rota.