Superb stage. Long and very, very demanding, both for the effort (really important positive difference in height) and the difficulties. However, it gives you great satisfaction.
The pearl of the day is certainly the peak of Monte Scorluzzo (3,095 m): the first 3,000 from the start, facing the majesty of Ortles (3,905 m).
Preferred for its extreme panoramic views, the stage is a variant of the Sentiero Italia (that from Bormio climbs directly to Lake Cancano): not to be missed by the most demanding hikers.
If not perfectly trained and with good experience, this is a really tough and potentially risky stage: it should not be underestimated.
The stage is mostly completely exposed to the sun.
Water points are absent up to the Stelvio Pass: bring a good supply.
Some rubble sections on the cross path can easily collapse, be careful.
Some chains in the last part of the ascent to Monte Scorluzzo: slightly exposed.
We leave the inhabited area and, after a short climb, we take the path halfway up the coast to return to the asphalted road (quite busy). where we continue for a couple of kilometers. Where the road curves sharply eastwards, we find the path (not easy to locate, hidden by the dense vegetation) to the Passo Crap dell'Aquila. From here on, the going gets tough.
The ascent (about 600 m height difference) towards the pass does not respite. We then cross the tree line and the path becomes a long and aerial cross path, overlooking the Valle del Braulio. Some slightly exposed parts of debris require firm steps and concentration. We meet numerous military garrisons (the Buse ones are beautiful: there is also an emergency shelter) and after a few ups and downs, we descend the Valle dei Vitelli. Just before returning to the asphalt road, we face a short stretch of complicated cross path, on unstable ground.
We follow the road to Bocca del Braulio, where the valley opens into green meadows. We pass the Braulio torrent and prepare to face the second demanding climb to Monte Scorluzzo (approximately 700 m height difference). After the first part on a road, we can catch our breath on Plan di Scorluzzo. Through a steep path, we go up the debris and reach Filone del Mot, from where we gain the ridge.
The show begins: the ridge is very aerial, although easy and wide (the path is clear), sprinkled with trenches and forts. The surrounding scenery is superb. After the last stretch, overcoming some easy aided sections, we are at the top of Monte Scorluzzo (3,095 m). The view is total: the very high Ortles (3,905 m), Cima Piazzi, Cima del Cristallo, the huge Vedretta della Piana ...
From the top, we descend easily on the path to take the carriage road that leads swiftly to Passo dello Stelvio (2,758 m).
Passo dello Stelvio is one of the highest paved roads in Europe. It connects Lombardy to South Tyrol and the nearby Giogo di Santa Maria to Switzerland.
Built in the early 19th century by Emperor Francis II of Habsburg, during the First World War it was the scene of fierce battles. At the end of the war, the pass became Italian territory.
From time to time, we see large shadows moving on the ground: if we carefully scan the sky, we see the majestic bearded vulture.
Extinct in the Alps, this bird of prey was reintroduced in 2000 in the Stelvio National Park. Today he is one of the undisputed protagonists of these beautiful mountains.
Bresaola is a healthy and nutritious way to refuel from our strains.
Famous throughout Italy, it is the typical cured meat from Valtellina, made with salted and dried beef.
Today, given the great demand, it is also produced with zebu bred in South America. Despite this, its recipe and its production are protected by the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) that guarantees compliance with quality standards and it maintains its production in the valley.
Along the stage, we meet two emergency shelters (empty): at Buse and at Piano di Scorluzzo.
Albergo Folgore, at the Stelvio Pass. Tel. +39 0342 903141
Rifugio Garibaldi, just above Passo dello Stelvio. Tel. +39 334 706 1060
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus, starting from the town of Tirano.
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.