Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pass Pertüs and mount Ocone

After a couple of days with a strong wind, the cold coming from north, Sunday was promising a very clear day.
Maddie and Mr. Bentley were already excited when i was still clung to a nice dream. "C'mon, Fajah, wake up and let's go for a hike!" they incited me shaking my arm with their front paws, dangling tongues and standing ears.
Still snuggling under the covers, i first open one eye, but i close it back all of the sudden, pretending to ignore them. But they insist. Howling and barking they convince me that it's time to start the day.
The sun is not yet risen from behind the mountain, but the sky is really clear. Let's go, then.

Mr. Bentley
I open the door and let them out in the garden for their morning pennies to spend. One freezing wind blast almost convince me to go back to my bed. But the word is done, it's a matter of honor, now.

Maddie
With a quick talk we decide to follow a path that is the natural continuation of the one that climbs up mount Tesoro. Infact if from the end point of that excursion you continue on the same path, you reach, at Forcella Alta, a parking lot in a panoramic view point next to a hotel, a couple of houses and a little lake (frozen) used to water the oxes.
In this point, reached by car (i drove), there is the start point of this excursion. Some people (not really sporting looking) is there to shoot photos and to buy mountain cured meats and cheeses from the usual merchant on his van.
Maddie and Mr. Bentley are already very excited, while i am still a little regretting my cozy pillow... but stop dillydellying now, lets go!
The hike starts on a dirt road that after a few ends up in a wood. Then the path is not very clear, but there are visible signs of red and white paint on the trees. The difficult thing, in this season, is due to the dry leaves on the brushwood that completely hide the harshnesses of the ground under, which thing makes it easy to subside with an ankle between two rocks.
Maddie and Mr. Bentley had the worst of it, and some times they looked almost drown in the leaves accumulations.
Soon, anyway, the woods opens in a nice meadow, where you must coast the ridge next to the valley. Then you go back in another wood (the path now is more clear) where you meet some buildings used in the past for fowling. You reach then a disused convent which

View from the peak of mount Ocone.
From the bottom you can see the lakes of Garlate,
Oggiono, Annone, Pusiano and Alserio.
The highest snowy peak in the background is mount Rosa
little church is being renovated. From there it starts another dirt road that goes down very steep, but we follow the signs towards pass Pertüs (in the local dialect this name means "narrow opening"), and infact after about ten minutes we reach a little bridge that links the two faces of the pass. Here there are some other ruins of structures used in the past for catching migrating birds, activity that is well described on some uselful display signs.
Till this point the path was entirely in a light descent and enough easy, but now it begins the steep ascent to the peak of mount Ocone. Sometimes the dogs aren't able to jump up to the rocks and i have to help them, obtaining in change wide licks as thanks. After twenty minutes uphill here we are finally on the peak. A breathtaking sight. I shot a set of photos and i put them together with Photomerge of Photoshop to create a 360 degrees panoramic picture (click on the photo to enlarge).
It is very cold, every pond we meet is completely frozen, but right for that reason the air is really clear enough to see mount Rosa on one side and the Piacenza's hills after Milan on the other. In the panoramic photo, the peak that look higher, on the left, just after the TV antennas at Valcava, is mount Tesoro.

Ten minutes of rest, Maddie, Mr. Bentley and me, snuggling each other listening an almost deafening silence, contemplating the rest of the worlds, just under there.

The way back on the same path, in the opposite direction.
  • Total time: 2:09 (1:22 ro go, 0:53 to come back)
  • Round trip distance: 5.3km [3.3mi]
  • Difference of level: 20m [66'] (140m [459'] downhill, 160m [525'] uphill)
  • Altitude: from 1305m [4281'] to 1325m [4347']
GPS track:
A: Peak of Mount Tesoro; B: Little lake of Forcella Alta; C: Convent; D: Pass Pertüs E: Peak of Mount Ocone

3 comments:

Rowena said...

Sounds like a hike that should be done again...only with me along with the pack! Maddie and Mister B both need haircuts!!

dario said...

Yep, the hike is really interesting for the peace of the silence and for the breathtaking view. I guss we have to wait the spring, because with this snow that makes it kind of dangerous! And yes, we were missing the pack leader ;-)

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