Challenging stage, quite long and characterized by two important climbs and a very long descent.
The landscape is always evocative, embellished by the beautiful Ghiacciato and Matogno lakes. You sleep in Switzerland, in the Canton of Ticino!
A couple of exposed sections during the climb to the Bocchetta del Lago Gelato.
Descent from the same pass, a bit steep at times.
In the descent towards Cimalmotto, after Bivacco Alpe Corte Rossa, we find some fallen trees: it is not always easy to guess the track and the signs.
Water points are scarce, only at Alpe Lago and at Bivacco Alpe Corte Rossa.
Leaving Bivacco Bonasson, we start the long climb (500 m height difference). After Alpe Cavegna, the incline increases and the track is on scree. Some parts are very hard and require a firm step. Finally, you reach the Bocchetta del Lago Gelato, with a beautiful view of the small lake below and the homonymous Pizzo (2,617 m) to the west, where there is the border with Switzerland. After catching our breath, we prepare for the long descent (400 m drop) towards Alpe FIesco, initially steep but never complicated.
On an easy half-way path along the hillside, we reach the beautiful Alpe Lago, where we find the Bivacco Adriano Sironi. Ascending a little, we see the green Lake of Matogno, under the eastern wall of Pizzo Cortefreddo. We enjoy the view and we begin the second, important (and last) ascent of the day (about 300 m height difference) towards Passo Della Forcoletta. Although easy, it is quite steep (especially in the final stretch) and you need to measure out your efforts. From Passo Della Forcoletta (2,359 m), we take the long and comfortable flat cross path: the stretch is very enjoyable and panoramic. Being careful not to miss the fork towards the Fria Tunnel (which allows us to avoid a ramp, one to go up and another to go down), we pass the short illuminated tunnel: we are in the Valle Cravario.
Here begins the long descent (approximately 1.000 m drop) towards the valley floor. On an easy track, we reach Bivacco Alpe Corte Rossa (where the most tired ones can break the stage) and we remain for a while among wide pastures. We overcome the woodland limit and enter the dense forest, being careful not to miss the path. We finally reach the valley floor and we cross the Rio Colobiasca. Shortly after, we spot the boundary stone: we are in Switzerland! We continue swiftly on a sloping roadway. We reach the road and, just over a kilometer later, we are in the small town of Cimalmotto.
Cimalmotto is located in the Canton of Ticino, the only Swiss canton located on the southern side of the Alps, nicknamed by the Swiss "Sonnige Stube": the sunny living room. The official language is Italian: the only municipality where also German is recognized is Bosco Gurin (north of Cimalmotto).
An unexpected admirer of the region was also our Antonio De Curtis, aka Totò: the Prince of laughter.
The town of Cimalmotto is dominated to the north by Pizzo Bombögn (2,331 m). On its top, you can admire a sort of great wall, about 600 meters long and between two and three meters high, made of stones.
It was built in 1948 to protect the pastures of Campo and Cimalmotto from the voracity of the goats of Bosco Gurin.
We can take advantage of the fact that we are in Switzerland and try raclette: in addition to being a type of cheese, the term indicates as well the procedure of heating the cheese and scraping it from the cheese wheel to eat it hot, spread on bread or potatoes.
Bivacco Adriano Sironi, at Alpe Lago: 12 beds, blankets, stove, gas kitchen stove, and water. Closed, you need to ask for the keys at the Locanda Delle Alpi, in the Roldo di Montecrestese hamlet. Tel. +39 0324.232873
Bivacco Alpe Corte Rossa, at the mountain pasture of the same name: 6 camp beds, blankets, stove, water. Always Open
Agriturismo Munt La Reita, in Cimalmotto. Tel. +41 91 754 1936
Starting point NOT reachable by car.
The nearest location reachable by car is Altoggio.
Starting point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location reachable by bus is Altoggio, starting from the city of Domodossola.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.