Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mt. Pizzo, Vettore and Torrone hike from Colle, Montegallo, AP, Le Marche

30 Luglio, 2013
It has been a long time since I posted something for you few who have yet to enter the world of facebook, where all my latest is made available daily.
This is an exceptional hike for those who want to climb the tallest mountain in Le Marche without the crowds of the trails from forca di Presta or Castelluccio.  The 1500 meter altitude gain and approximately 15 km distance puts most people off, but if you are up for it, this is a much more interesting way to climb Vettore.  I am on a quest, as is Bacco to climb all the 2,000 meter peaks in Le Marche and after this hike we have 2 to go.  This hike bagged 3 although Mt. Vettore was a 3rd timer.
This picture with our winery in the middle shows all the peaks we climbed on Sunday.
And this view is from a bit closer at the cute little mountain town of Montegallo.  
The hike starts out promisingly enough with a little waterfall and a shaded path which leads to the church below

This is the little church Santa Maria in Pantano built long before Columbus arrived in america

My Belgian guest Sven on the trail up above timber line, with Mt. Torrone behind him. That will be the last of the 3-2,000 meter peaks we will summit on this hike and is on the way down from Vettore.

Bacco is nice enough to rest when I do.
Here is a nice iPhone shot from Sven of Bacco and I atop Mt. Pizzo with Abruzzo in the background

Here I am on the crest from Pizzo to Vettore. We have, at this point, seen only 2 people on the trail and passed them, as I am sure you guessed.

Atop Mt. Vettore where a lightning strike, I imagine, has bent the cross 90 degrees.  The last time Bacco and I were here, the cross was straight.  Note the Tibetan prayer flags tied to the cross. I am wearing my Estes Park, CO shirt and the altitude of this summit, the tallest in the Marche, is the same as that of E.P.  To arrive from trailhead to the top of Vettore with Pizzo thrown in (20 minutes round trip) took 3 hours and 25 minutes.
Mt. Vettore in the background as we walk along the crest you have seen in those pictures from the B&B and Montegallo.  First we head down (and then back up) to Mt. Torrone

Looking west left to right, Cima del Lago, Redentore and Pizzo del Diavolo, all 2,000 meters and above and these make a great hike as well, with wonderful views of Castelluccio and the Piano Grande. Lago di Pilato is below where supposedly Pontius Pilate's body was carried by horses and is home to an endangered crustacean (fresh water shrimp) and above that a nice little heart-shaped snow field.

Heading on down from Vettore on the crest, you see Mt. Sibilla with its awful scar from a giant Zorro.  Behind that is Mt. Priora, another wonderful hike which we started from Rifugio di Fargno last year on another 3 peak day.

Bacco and I atop Mt Torrone

Looking back at Pizzo and Vettore from the pasture below Torrone

A view of Lago di Gerosa and the eastern Marche foothills; it is a bit too hazy to see the Adriatic

Bacco and I had already finished 4 liters of water on this hot Sunday before arriving at a fountain where we found 50 sheep, a lazy shepherd under his umbrella to the left and 3 Abruzzo sheep dogs which tried to menace us a bit, but I played pack leader while Bacco cooled off.
From here it takes another 40 minutes or so to get back to your car for a total of 6 hours and 15 minutes for the 3 of us and just under 15 km or 9 miles.  
It is a big hike, no doubt about it and with almost 5000 feet of altitude gain and loss, not for those who are out of shape.  I liked this approach to Vettore better than the short steep hike from forca di Presta because there were no people, the views are more appealing to me, and you can bag 3 of the tallest Sibillini peaks easily enough in one go.

No comments: