The Mortirolo Pass by bike
The Passo del Mortirolo - also called Passo della Foppa - has an altitude of 1,852 m a.s.l. and connects - only during the summer season - the province of Sondrio with that of Brescia.
The ascent of Mortirolo da Mazzo, from the Valtellina side, is considered by many to be the hardest in Europe.
In 1990, this secondary mountain road, characterized by prohibitive slopes, was included in the route of the Giro d'Italia. The solo escape of an up-and-comer named Marco Pantani in 1994 made it famous and a popular destination for all racing bicycle lovers. The combination of Pantani Mortirolo has thus entered the hearts of all cyclists.
A monument dedicated to the champion was placed at the 11th hairpin, which commemorates him on the terrain most congenial to him: the great climbs of the Giro d'Italia.
With the racing bicycle, there are really many alternatives to reach the pass: from the Valtellina side - starting from Mazzo, from Tovo or from Grosio - and from the Brescia side, starting from Monno.
Ascent to Passo del Mortirolo from Mazzo.
The climb to Mortirolo da Mazzo is the classic one, it starts from Mazzo in Valtellina (552 m a.s.l.) and climbs for 12.5 km with extreme slopes.
The start is immediately challenging and you face the first hairpin bends with the slope that continues inexorably uphill. the first 5.5 km are the worst with gradients that even reach 18%. The last kilometers are easier to pedal, with spaces where you can catch your breath.
The average slope of the climb is over 10% and the maximum slope reaches 18%, for a difference in height of about 1300 m.
Also on the Valtellina side, there are two more climbs towards Passo del Mortirolo: from Grosio the slopes are gentler and the road is more panoramic. From Tovo, the climb reaches slopes of 23% in the final stretch. This climb has been part of the route of the granfondo dello Stelvio Santini several times.
Ascent of the Mortirolo Pass from Monno.
From the Brescia side, the climb to Mortirolo starts from Monno, near Edolo (1066 m a.s.l.) and climbs for 11.5 km with pedalable slopes.
Apart from some short sections with slopes around 10%, the rest of the climb has an average gradient of 6%, even with a long stretch on a slight slope.
How long does it take to climb the Mortirolo by bike?
It depends a lot on the slope and the degree of training.
From Mazzo you go up in a time that varies from 1 hour and a half to 2 hours and a half.
How much does the pass open and close?
The Mortirolo pass generally opens not before mid-May and closes in November.
How many bends are there on the Mortirolo?
From the Mazzo side there are 33 hairpin bends, on the Grosio side there are 30 hairpin bends, while from Tovo there are 45 hairpin bends.
Which is the hardest slope of the Mortirolo?
All the slopes of the Mortirolo are extremely hard, but perhaps the most demanding is the one from Tovo, while the classic route is from Mazzo.