It's hotly debated whether the Mortirolo is harder from the Tovo variant or from the classic Mazzo. Either way, the Mortirolo from Tovo is far from easy on your legs and lungs with an average gradient of 10.7% for 12.2 km. The top section, which is a relentless strip of cement flanked by rustic mountain huts, is the toughest part with pitches of 23%. Staying upright – let alone attacking out of the group – is a challenge here, so don’t be surprised to see people pushing.
After that exertion, the next section through an area called Loot is rocky and forested, providing a welcome distraction to the suffering. Pretty soon you’ll join the classic Mortirolo to reach the top of the pass. Setting off from Tovo, this climb is consistent to begin with, alternating between some easier and some tougher sections, but never letting up on picture-perfect Alpine beauty and very rarely interrupted by traffic.