Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: mountains

Engelberg and clouds

Exactly one year after our last free ride trip, on 7 March Jean-Thomas, Yvan and I were back together for what looks like the only journey together on the Swiss snow in 2021.

In the Swiss canton of Obwalden, the cable ride took up all the way up to Mount Titlis (3,238 m). In the afternoon, the clouds rose from the valley, creating that heavenly impression of skiing on the sea. The other mountain tops looked like little islands on the horizon. I had to think about this other time, almost ten years ago now.

You gotta love my contradictions. I hate the gentrification of mountains, yet I am part of it. I am dubious about the ethical implications of keeping the lifts open (Italy and Switzerland shut them down during the pandemic), yet, again, I take my seat and ride on.

Pampeago, Lagorai, e Catinaccio

Going out

I came back to Trento one week before a new round of restrictions to mobility entered into force. During these days I went up the mountains: Bondone, Paganella, Folgaria, Lusia. It was my time to listen, speak, think.

In the introduction to the book of Walter Micheli, Passioni e sentieri, Franco de Battaglia writes that gasping and panting during the ascent, men and women of different ideas discover that they share a similar fatigue. I always had the suspicion that Walter liked mountain trails for this reason too, not only naturalistic, but also a little socialist (own translation from Italian).

Drei Zinnen

In 2012 I resolved to hike with friends at least once every summer. It went well for a few years. Then, slowly but surely, the group started to shrink. Last year, Giallu and I were the only survivors.

This year, a lucky combination of two factors that are not entirely unrelated – Arianna’s joining the group and the popular desire to spend time outdoor after three months in a lockdown – revitalised our tradition.

Here we are, eleven of us, when we still thought we were stronger than the rain (spoiler alert: we were not). Giallu, Giacomo, Arianna, Carlo, Delina, Lorenzo, Ludo, Gabo, Anna, Dani. This year’s hike is on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, die Drei Zinnen.

Fiscalina

We start at Hotel Dolomitenhof (1’465), Val Fiscalina, right next to Sesto. Even with thr clouds, this is a scenic valley. Only now I remember I used to go there as a kid. We do not mind the rain too much. The the trail becomes a little river and we do mind a little bit. At about 2’000 meters of altitude we start shivering. At this point, we mind the rain very much. The Rifugio Locatelli (2’450), our objective for the day, appears and then disappears in the fog. Nerve wracking. It is a good feeling to arrive in our room.

Just like last year, we spend much of the first afternoon napping. Dani overhears another group talking about a “magic room” where clothes and boots dry up quickly. We go on a treasure hunt. We find the room: it does not look that magic, but it is indeed a little warmer than all other spots in the hut.

We have dinner. Very good dinner. A healthy mix of vegetables and meat. Noted down for future hikes. Gloria and Emanuele join us from Brunico, enlarging the Florentine and Milanese sections of the group.

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We wake up on a glorious Sunday morning. Gabo walks triumphantly to the dorm: there is a magic flow of air in the magic room and all our clothes and boots will get dry in no time. It is a warm, powerful flow coming from the kitchen. Ludovica throws her boots right into it. Carlo tells the story of when he did the same as a kid and his boots broke apart shortly after because of the excessive heat. We all laugh.

The group splits. Some of us go for the via ferrata to Monte Paterno (Paternkofel, 2’440), others take the lower trail to Rifugio Plan di Cengia (2’528). It is a bright day, and we move up the rocks following the ‘Cling cling’ of our carabiners. Everything is simple and there isn’t much to say.

I took the photo of a bridge and next to it there are the ruins of an old bridge. When my parents did the same via ferrata in the 70s, they had to use the old bridge, which was pretty much like it is today.

From Rifugio Plan di Cengia we hike together to Rifugio Comici (2’224). There we lose Giacomo (who goes for the Via ferrata degli alpini) and Carlo (who has to be back for dinner). This is where Ludo’s boots break. No one laugh. We all think of Carlo.

We arrive to the car a little earlier than dusk. We head to Trento where we want to have a typical dinner. We reserve a table at La Gnoccata. When I ask for the tortel trentino, they tell me ‘Questa è cucina tipica emiliana, qui di trentino abbiamo solo il cameriere‘. And what a waiter. Wild, compassionate, garrulous. We will be back.

Kandersteg

The photos of a Saturday hike with Annique and Inka. We left from Kandersteg, a famous cross-country ski location and the place where I almost went to do ski touring with Yvan once; and we walked up the valley to a little hut for scouts that Annique’s uncle was fixing, together with some friends.

Pale di San Martino

Partenza da Neuchatel alle ore 14:30 di sabato 28 settembre. Arrivo a Trento alle 20:03. Ricongiungimento con Giallu alle ore 22:30. Riposo. Colazione a Trento alle ore 7.30. Ore 10.00 arrivo a San Martino. Seconda colazione a San Martino per evitare possibili crisi di fame. Funivia per il Rifugio Rosetta. Tosella a metà strada per ovviare al languorino di tarda mattinata. Inizio camminata alle 12:00, con un ritardo di circa tre ore sulla tabella di marcia.

Dal rifugio (2.581 m) prendiamo il sentiero 709 per la trista cima Fradusta (2.939 m) completamente avvolta nella nebbia. Da lì, calata al Rifugio Pradidali (2.278 m) con moto volvente rilassato. Arrivo alle ore 16:00 e salto in branda nel bivacco storico. (Quello nuovo, tutto in legno e vetri, è sigillato ermeticamente). Cena con Costantino e Sandra. Loro sono lì per festeggiare il compleanno di Costantino, a cui piacciono il karate, il tiro sportivo con la pistola, i bonsai e gli infortuni sportivi. A letto dopo esser stati raggiunti da due alpinisti tedeschi poco in vena di socialità.

Il giorno successivo alba spettacolare con sole riflesso sulle pareti circostanti. Partenza senza fretta e con qualche difficoltà nell’indossare l’imbrago. Via ferrata del Porton (un’ora e mezza con scaletta iniziale da brivido) e poi via ferrata Nico Gusella (un’ora e mezza, principalmente a scendere) con passaggio dalla misteriosa Forcella Stephen (2.650 m). Lunga marcia con graduale discesa ed impietosa risalita verso il Rifugio Rosetta, anticipata da un fugace quanto imprevisto ritorno al Pradidali per recuperare la torcia dimenticata in branda. Allungo finale verso Cima della Rosetta (2.743 m) e discesa a San Martino senza funivia, faccia alla bella valle. Ultimo tratto al trotto, approfittando delle piste da sci non ancora innevate: francamente sconsigliabile e possibilmente da non ripetere.

Tris di montagne

July 13-14.
Canton Neuchâtel and canton Vaud.
Creux du Van with Yvan and Jean-Thomas (this is one year after the omage that Giallu, Jonas, Tosan, Dani and myself first paid to this place).
Depart from Travers (700 m) all the way up (1400 m). Night in the cabane Perrenoud of the C.A.S. Neuchâtel and down to Bevaix.

 

24-25 August.
Canton Bern.
Arond Murren with Yvan, Jean-Thomas, Pierlu, Yoan, Eliz.
Stechelberg, Gimmelwald, and surroundings.

 

31 August – 1 September.
Canton Valais.
With Iris, Annique, Maria, Dani.
Teleski from Anzére to Pas-de-Maimbré (2386 m), hike to Sex Rouge (2893 m), Cabane des Audannes (2508 m) where we spend the night and then down to La Grand Bisse d’Ayent and back.

Ötzi

I am flying above the Alps this very moment and I am trying to remember the names of the places where I have been ski touring in March and April. Your have to know that it has been a tiring start of the year, both mentally and physically. I have been following the priorities set by my work and I have ignored some of the personal plans I had previously being following so rigorously. One of the few exceptions to this otherwise strict rule has been the luxury of ski touring, which I did over three weekends with my parents and with my Tuscan friends.

In early March I went to Rifugio Carlettini, 1300 meters high. I was with Nicola, Birgit, Federica, Paolo, Francesco, or the slowcai group that I met two years ago: do you remember? The first day we made it all the way up to Tombola Nera at 2413 meters; the second day I am not so sure any more (but I think we reached Cima Ravetta at 2266 meters). Those were two days of fantastic weather, loads of food, little snow. Ideas for future excursions in the area: Cengello, Lasteati, Cima d’Asta.

 

Then in early April I went to Cevedale together with my parents for one day only. The weather was incredible. We arrived on Cima Solda, which is situated at 3387 meters. In the future we will have to go all the way up to the top. For that to happen, we either need to leave our house in Trento at 3AM or get a cabin in South Tyrol.

 

Getting a cabin in South Tyrol is precisely what we did at the end of April, when we skied on the Glacier of the Similaun, or the place where the found Ötzi. We slept at Rifugio Bellavista, 2845 meters. As a sort of retribution for being too kind to me in the previous two excursions, this time the weather conditions were horrible: cold, snow, and wind. The first day we reached a mountain slope next to the Fineilspitze at 3400-and-something meters. The second day we went in front of the Giogo di Tisa but I cannot really recall the altitude.

Next time I will go up the mountains it will be Summer and, who knows, perhaps I will be with Manuel, Mindo and Giallu again.

 

 

 

Banff 2016

Subito prima di partire per la Svizzera, ho partecipato come volontario al Banff Film Festival World Tour – per il secondo anno. In Italia i gruppi di volontari si chiamano ‘Teen’: in tutte le città, sono generalmente giovani studenti delle scuole medie e superiori. A Firenze, però, l’organizzazione si è fidata di Carola del CAI. Eccoci qui, i teen fiorentini: un gruppo di persone tra i 25 e i 60 anni. Qui sotto quello che probabilmente era il miglior filmato in concorso – secondo me.

 

The place where we were

So I wrote I was going to upload some more pictures concerning this little adventure I had together with my dad, Giallu and Nico. Here they are: they have been taken by the organizers themselves and I highly recommend taking part to at least one of their next events.

Addendum: people complimented me about the new glasses. In fact, they belong to Giallu. The reason why I am wearing them is I lost both contact lenses on the way to the lake – yes, crazy: they flew away, both at the same time, while we were speeding up in the dust. Loyal Giallu was kind enough to borrow me his glasses. We are almost equally blinded, so that worked out pretty well.