Friday, June 25, 2010


June 2, from Fuipiano to Zuc di Valbona.

Our destination: Zuc di Valbona
Fuipiano, as stated in the road sign indicating the border of the town, is nicknamed "The roof of Imagna Valley". This town is in fact the highest in the valley and is situated on the opposite side of the mountain where we live. Here is the start point of some hiking trails.

Once in Fuipiano you need to follow towards the pass of Grumello until the end of the road. There are plenty of quite comfortable parkings. If the day is busy, you can park a couple hairpin bends below, as we did.
At this point we start to trek uphill, on a paved trail first, then cobbled. Among woods and meadows, the trail is clear and not difficult. There are several variants, well marked; we stay on the main road, and reach an area with a pond (for watering the cows?) and some picnic tables.
Zuc di Valbona (a cross at the top of slope) is our goal (Zuc is the dialect for pumpkin, or, as a funny expression, for bald-head, infact the top of the mountain reminds you of it). The Kompass map indicate a different path towards

View from underneath, during our return.
On the left the end point of the excursion, on the right the Zuc.
Enlarging the picture you can see the steep climb,
on the right, that points straightful towards the little house in the center
the forest, but we decide to follow the main road. The climb is impressively steep and seems endless (it's paved but closed to traffic). The signs indicate a gradient of 22%, but sometimes it must surely be greater. While walking, you have the feeling you must move your weight forward not to fall back. Crazy are those cyclists who climb up with their mtb. And even more crazy are the ones who descend.
On top of the hill the view is beautiful. On the right there's a house, the trail bends around it and ends at Zuc Valbona, not far. Some hikers are at the top around the cross. In front of us stands the distinctive profile of Mount Resegone viewed from its eastern side. We decide to change our goal and go straight on a variant of the main path that follows the sweet ups and downs towards mount Resegone. After a few hundred meters further down we see a building on the right with a pond and some hikers resting. We stop in the locally highest point to eat a sandwich. We go back to the car following same route in reverse.
  • Time: 1:26
  • Distance: 3.81km [2.37mi]
  • Difference of level: 368m [1207ft] (392m [1286ft] uphill, 24m [79ft] downhill)
  • Altitude: 1098m [3602ft] to 1481m [4859ft]

  • Return (on the same path):
  • Time: 1:09

  • June 6. Ring circuit: Fuipiano - Tre Faggi - Madonna dei Canti - Fuipiano

    View from Madonna dei Canti, on the path we made last
    time: the pick on the right is the Zuc di Valbona,
    on the left, the steep climb
    From Fuipiano we noticed an interesting looking variant, so we looked and found this alternative on the Kompass map. We decided to come back and try this other path.
    The beginning of the trail is in the same place, at Fuipiano. Walking on the same path, when the road opens out to a pasture, there is a fork. This time we follow the sign to "Tre Faggi' on the right. Following that road, we head to the opposite side than the one we hiked the last time. At one point the road is blocked to contain the cows, and we had to follow the marked path on the left,

    Hiking with Mr. Bentley and Maddie
    which goes into the woods. Anyway, it's obvious enough that we must reach another path a little higher up. The only problem is that the dead leaves are quite slippery, making the climb difficult. Once reached that path to get to Tre Faggi is a breeze.
    The destination is rather obvious for the presence of the three huge beech trees (Tre Faggi, in Ialian), growing just side by side. There is also a construction: a balcony overlooking the precipice, and a shrine.
    From this point there are various branching paths. We follow #571 west, which proceeds on the ridge at the top of the mountain. Here the route alternates between woods and rocks, to open up a wide meadow. Here is a statue dedicated to Madonna dei Canti ("Our Lady of Songs"). Following the Kompass map on the GPS here it looks that the right way is straight, despite #571 is well marked by a sign in the middle of the meadow. Continuing straight, however, the track looses in the forest. We decided then to trust the signs. Going down the paths enters the woods again and, after some steep hairpin bends, it connects the main trail, at the lowest point of steep path we hiked few days before. From here we follow the same path, stopping, at the picnic area, for lunch: teryaki-ginger chicken, pancit (Filipino noodles), brownies, fresh cherries. This time we have also some snacks for Maddie and Mr. Bentley.
    From the picnic area to the car there is still a few walk downhill.
    Ring path:
  • Time: 4:04
  • Distance: 8.76km [5.44mi]
  • Difference of level: 487m [1598ft]
  • Altitude: 1151m [3776ft] to 1568m [5144ft]

  • Traccia GPS dellE DUE escursioni.
    In rosso quella del 2 giugno, in giallo quella del 6 giugno: A: Parcheggio auto; B: Inizio sentiero; C: Bivio Zuc di Valbona/Tre Faggi; D-E: Ripida salita; F: Zuc di Valbona; G: Sosta all'arrivo della prima escursione; H: Tre Faggi; I: Madonna dei Canti; J: Area pic-nic.

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