I climbed the Grand Sasso in july 2011 starting in Camarda which adds aprox. 100 heightmeters. The climb was done in beautiful weather and was OK for a +40 year beginner.
I suffered a bit on the steepest parts, just before the small setback and especially shortly before the top on a few 10% sections - they hit me like a hammer.
The hotel at the top, Campo Imperatore, was closed, pretty disappointing, but the view and landscape is amazing. Beware of sheep, goats, cattle, they walk all over the road. The road standard is better than expected in Italy.
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