Friday, September 12, 2008

Refuge Larcher al Cevedale

Alpini's chapel at Malga Mare
Still on the same subject, here we go with another excursion we made just the day after the one at Lago della Vacca.
The original intention was to hike the "anello dei laghi" (="lakes ring"), that connects the starting point (Malga Mare), before reaching refuge Larcher, the lakes Careser, Nero (=Black), Lungo (=Long) and delle Marmotte (of the Marmots).

Still a little tired by the day before excursion, instead, we decided to leave the lakes for the next time and reach the refuge Larcher on the shortest, even if less spectacular, path, and then come back on the same.

Refuge Larcher
Malga Mare (strange name for a mountain farm at almost 2000 meters! ["mare"="sea"]) is reachable by car from Cogolo (TN). After some kilometers the road becomes really narrow and a driver begins to hope not to cross anybody in the opposite direction.
At a certain point, to keep driving a fee (2 euros) has to be paid to the guys of the Stelvio park, next to a parking lot. But we have not yet reached our destination: from that point there is still about 10 km to go before reaching the end of the road, where there is an hydroelectric generating station of the electric company and a parking.
Here, besides the Malga, there is also a little chapel dedicated to the Alpine soldiers and some picnic tables into the pinewood on the brook banks. Some cows are free on the fields.
The path starts with a fork: on the right it begins the path to lake Careser. We followed the other option marked #102 to refuge Larcher.

Refuge Larcher and Cevedale mountain glaciers
The best part is the beginning where the path winds in hairpin bends uphill among grassy fields, pinewoods and roaring torrents over which there are some little wooden bridges. In this part I was also able to see a deer. When arrived to the top it begins a long tract on a rocky path that goes till the destination.
At a certain point once arrived to plain "Venezia", there is another fork. The marker signs to Lago Lungo on path #146. Going straight the refuge starts to be visible while walking for a distance that looks neverending. The landscape opens on the perpetual snow of the Cevedale mountain glaciers. On the opposite ridge of the valley the Noce Bianco torrent, with its rapids can be seen. From the refuge, built right next to the cliff, a breathtaking view can be enjoyed.
The refuge, that has, besides the restaurant, also some bedrooms, can also be used as a base for several other excursions.
After a break and a sandwich with the local speck we took our way back on the same path.
  • Time to go: 2:35
  • Time to return: 1:52
  • Round trip distance: 13.8km [8.6mi]
  • Difference of level: 660m [2165feet] (794m [2604feet] uphill, 134m [440feet] downhill)
  • Altitude: from 1953m [6407feet] to 2614m [8576feet]
GPS track
A: parking at Malga Mare; B: refuge Larcher; C: Pian Venezia plain; D: Lake Careser; E: Lake Nero; F: Lake Lungo; G: Lake delle Marmotte

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