Monte Crostis

Driving the infamous Monte Crostis

Monte Crostis is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.991m (6,532ft) above the sea level, located in the Province of Udine in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Tucked away on the northern part of the country, near the Austrian border, the road to the summit is mostly paved except 6 km of dirt road very compact. It’s called Strada delle Vette (Panoramica delle Vette). It’s 30km (19.13 miles) long, running from Ravascletto (a well known summer/winter holiday resort in Friuli Venezia Giulia) to Tualis. The road was built between 1940 and 1942. It’s essentially a single wide road with no divider line. You can not reach the summit of the Crostis (2.251m) by bike or car. A scary and extremely dangerous footpath, without guardrails or any protection, is the only solution. The Giro d'Italia intended to pass Monte Crostis in 2011, but after the death of Wouter Weylandt and ongoing protests of the peloton, the jury decided to remove the Crostis from the route due its dangerousness and brutality.

Set high in the Carnic Alps, in the Dolomites, it’s said to be the highest road open for vehicles in the Friuli region. It is usually impassable from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. However, it has been known to be open longer in warm years.
The road is extremely defiant, with 40 hairpin turns, huge drops and very narrow parts, so proceed cautiously and hope no other vehicles come from the other direction. Better not to do it with large SUVs or campers because the maneuvering spaces are almost non-existent. The inclination is usually somewhere between 12-18% and there is no flat stretch, hitting a 20% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Over the whole drive there’s no roof, no place to hide, when a storm hits the exposed place. In some turns use your horn and listen. It can save your life. At the summit you really have a fabulous view of as well the north as the south of the region.


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