Friday, September 5, 2008

Holy cow, what an excursion!

The cow, Maddie, Mr. Bentley and me
(I am the one wearing sunglasses!)
In the Adamello National Park there is a pass named "Passo della Vacca" ("Cow's pass"), because right there, there is a rock which shape reminds one of an ox.
Next to the pass there is also a little artificial lake that has the same name, next to which, after the dam and the plant of the Electric Company, there is also a building for the Alpine emergency and the refuge "Tita Secchi".

One option to arrive to that place is to walk the path signed with marker #19, starting from Malga Cadino (an alpine farm house reachable by car). We tried this excursion (which unfortunately i don't have the GPS record) some days from the other excursion described in the previous post, but at a certain point, right before the last ascent to the pass, Mr. Bentley had to stop because he was too tired, so also Maddie and R. had to give up.

More interesting was instead the other alternative (documented with these photos and the GPS record at the bottom) that we succesfully completed last weekend. Starting at refuge Bazena you follow path #1 (former #18, as reported on Kompass hiking maps). This path, a little longer, but more level, was easy enough also for Mr. Bentley, who could do it safe and sound, although exhausted, till the end, as proved by the photo.
From Bazena refuge the excursion starts with a comfortable white road for few hundreds meters, and then a fork allows to make a detour from the main road and follow the nature path, enough close to the white road but plunged in the woods. On this path there are a lot of signs that indicate with drawings the names of the trees and flowers that can be encountered.

Cornone di Blumone (on the left)
parcially covered by Creste di Laione
(from Val Fredda pass)
At about one third of the path, the forest opens on the western rocky ridge of Monte Cadino, bordering Val Bona valley, where loud and constant whistles similar to bird cries reveal a large number of marmots that we could spy with our binoculars.
The path then reaches Val Fredda pass, where there is a fork. Always stay on path #1. After this point, Vacca pass could be seen, although the cow-shaped rock is still hidden.
Just few meters before the pass, after the last curve, finally the shape of the cow can be seen.
After the ritual photos, still following path #1, the monotonous view of the rocks all of the sudden opens to the enchanting little lake, where Mr. Bentley and Maddie finally found some refreshment. On the right, after the dam, you reach your destination: the Tita Secchi refuge.

After a deserved pause at the refuge (don't miss the warm polenta with melted cheese!) we took our way back on the same path.

To reach Bazena refuge, from Breno, follow the indications to Passo Crocedomini. The refuge is right next to the road. After Crocedomini pass, instead, following to Bagolino, Malga Cadino (the start point of the other path) is easy to reach.

Lago di Vacca and Tita Secchi refuge
  • Time to go: 4:05
  • Time to return: 3:02
  • Round trip distance: 23.8km [14.8mi]
  • Difference of level: 550m [1804feet] (993m [3258feet] uphill, 443m [1453feet] downhill)
  • Altitude: from 1818m [5965feet] to 2368m [7796feet]
GPS record.
A: Bazena refuge, B: Tita Secchi refuge, C: Val Fredda pass, D: Vacca pass (and rock), E: Malga Cadino


Rowena said...

An excursion indeed! Should be nice to do this hike in the springtime...when the marmots come out with their babies!

Unknown said...

Wow! Your hikes sound like they take olympic athlete training! If you and Ro ever visit us in Seattle, I think you might fall asleep on the kind of trails we hike.

dario said...

Sistah?!?!? Ciaooo!!!

Actually it's more like a show off... the path was much easier than what it looks ;-)

I look foreward to come to Seattle!