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FATMAP difficulty grade
There may be better rides than this in Europe...but we haven't found them! It requires plenty of effort on your part - and it also puts your downhill biking skills under the microscope - but for those with the requisite ability level, this is a must-do. Start out in the bustling little village of Arabba and then begin the ascent to the Passo Pordoï.
The "full fat" version of this involves riding up a jeep track and then a tarmac road, and is shown here.
The "semi-skinned" version is to ride up the jeep track and then use the Fodom cable car to reach the col, and the "skimmed" version is to ride the bus and/or the cable car and not pedal an inch of uphill! Regardless of how you got there, the Passo Pordoï is a beautiful place which is worth exploring briefly.
In winter it's home to some epic ski terrain (just check this out if you don't believe us - https://fatmap.com/guidebooks/12700/sass-pordoi-:-the-best-ski-lift-in-the-dolomites...) and in summer is the start point for countless hiking and biking adventures. From Pordoï take the singletrack trail up to Rifugio Vial Dal Pan and then follow a narrow - and at times exposed and rocky - track.
Get off and push on the most narrow sections; it's simply not worth the risk of riding along the most exposed sections.
The scenery visible throughout the traverse is incredible, with the Marmolada (the highest mountain in the Dolomites) and its glaciers dominating the view.
The Lago di Fedaia - the lake beneath the Marmolada - doesn't look too bad either! The track undulates all the way to Porta Vescova and then drops onto the other side of the ridge.
Tear down a wide gravel road before turning right on a singletrack to pass by an artificial lake beneath the Sass de la Vegla lift.
From the lake begin descending down towards Ornella.
Take the singletrack on rider's right of the valley and follow it all the way to Ornella via some really technical, rocky riding.
In addition to the large rocks, there's also some vegetation and all adds up to quite an adventure! This is really tough riding, suitable only for advanced bikers, but it's incredible if you've got the skills for it! As you descend the route gets mellower and eventually becomes a wide track down to Ornella.
Take another steep single track (which is technically hard but still easier than what precedes it) to the valley floor and then make a short, steep climb on tarmac and gravel roads back to the main road.
Follow this easily to Arabba.