The road to Piccolo Pirovano Hut in the Alps is not for the sissies
Rifugio Piccolo Pirovano is a high mountain refuge at an elevation of 3.018m (9,901ft) above the sea level, located in the Italian province of Sondrio, in the Lombardy region, near the Swiss border. It's one of the highest roads of Europe.
Set high in the Alps, the road to the refuge -closed for twenty years- is totally unpaved. Starting at Passo dello Stelvio, the ascent is 2.2 km (1.36 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 253 meters. The average gradient is 11.5%. The road is very steep, hitting a 22% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. You first have to climb the Passo delle Platigliole.
This road running through a lunar landscape, is usually impassable from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow) but can be impassable also in summers with snow. The area becomes very windy and accordingly cold. This road is soon gravelled, but apart from two short bad sections you can otherwise ride this road on the way up to the end where the snow, skiers and glacier start. There are 2 other hotels in the area (Hotel Baita Ortler and Hotel Thöni 3000). This road becomes very steep already at its first turn. Along the road you get some nice views over the Stelvio Pass. The runway conditions vary from flat passages to other hardly rideable steep sections. It's one of the highest roads of the country.