Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Refuge Terz'Alpe

Mr. Bentley and me on Via delle Alpi
Sunday, march 14th, 2010. Third escursion for this year.
The path starts just out of the center of Canzo. You can reach the town from the highway Como-Lecco on a detour east from the main town of Erba, via the road that connects to Bellagio.
You have to reach the locality Gajum, but in the holidays there are some signs that suggest not to go by car, and to use the ample parking in the town. We wanted to try to get closer but we ended up finding ourselves in the tight and uncomfortable lanes without any possibility to find a spot for the car. We then headed back and parked next to the cemetery, from where clear signs point in fact to Gajum.
You reach Gajum walking on the asphalt roads. Here there is a tiny parking with some indications on trail markers. We choose the high path, on the left, named "Via delle Alpi".

Corno di Canzo
From the main way some other paths diverge. We followed the indications for "Terz'Alpe". The path is paved with stones and it is quite easy. It encounters the last houses and some farms, climbing some hairpin bends. Then the road becomes more flat and you arrive finally at "Prim'Alpe". It is an old mountain farmhouse turned into a visitor center. Here there is a fountain with refreshing water and a beautiful meadow with picnic talbes. A lot of people stop in this place, and we also have a little rest for a drink and some photos.
We keep following the main road and after a while we reach, through the woods, the refuge Terz'Alpe. Also this, in the past, was a mountain farmhouse. The path is really beautiful and also the weather was ideal for this excursion: not too cold and not too warm. In some places there is still some ice but nothing really dangerous. On the right of the path there is a terrific view of the valley. Next to the refuge the panorama is breathtaking, with the Corni di Canzo right behind the refuge.
After a pause for lunch at the refuge we start our way back, this time walking on the lower trail. Right in front of the building there is the starting point for this path, also paved with stones, pretty steep, aided by irregular steps. Here the ice makes the walk more difficult.
After a first steep descent, the path crosses the stream several times on wooden and iron bridges. At the end we reach back at Gajum, and from here we head back to the cemetery where the car is.
  • Time: 1:52
  • Distance: 8.36km [5.19mi]
  • Difference of level: 438m [1437"](598m [1962"] uphill, 160m [525"] downhill)
  • Altitude: 353m [1158"] to 852m [2795"]

  • Return:
  • Time: 1:33
  • Distance: 8.45km [5.25mi]
  • Difference of level: 438m [1437"] (326m [1070"] uphill, 764m [2507"] downhill)
  • Altitude: 388m [1273"] to 830m [2723"]

  • GPS track of the excursion.
    A: Parking at the cemetery; B: start point at Gajum; C: Prim'Alpe; D: Refuge Terz'Alpe; E: Corni di Canzo

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