Very long and demanding stage, with significant differences in height, through which we circumnavigate Monte Confinale. Extremely satisfying stage.
In front of the impressive south face of Punta del Cristallo, we reach an incomparable balcony facing the legendary Gran Zebrù. Later we catch sight of the beautiful Cima Piazzi, before entering the historic center of Bormio.
The section up to Rifugio Campo is a variation of the Sentiero Italia (that from Rifugio Pizzini reaches Val Zebrù, via the pass of the same name), chosen because of the impracticability of Passo Zebrù. However, this stretch is highly recommended.
The stage is really long and requires good training; it is possible to break it at Rifugio Campo, in the valley of Val Zebrù (about halfway through the stage).
Short parts barely exposed in the long cross path after Baite Cavallaro.
We start uphill again, on a path in good conditions (approximately 500 m height difference) and mainly in the shade of the dense forest, up to the mountain huts in Confinale di Sopra. Once we catch our breath, we continue on a beautiful cross path, reaching Baite Cavallaro (those who want to shorten the stage can take the wide path that descends to Pradaccio, cross the Zebrù stream and walk on the cross path up to Bormio).
Bypassing Monte Forcellino from the north side, we continue across at the sight of the incredible south face of Punta del Cristallo (3,450 m), which seems dolomitic (like the name, on the other hand). In this way we reach the Costantini forest bivouac, where a bench calls us to a well-deserved stop, to admire the imposing Gran Zebrù (3,851 m), the smaller Zebrù (3,735 m), and the Forni Glacier.
From the bivouac we continue for a while on the cross path (facing some small ford) and descend swiftly (about 300 m drop) to Rifugio Campo: those who are tired can break the stage here.
From the mountain lodge, we take the carriage road westwards. We travel along the valley floor along the Zebrù stream and pass several mountain huts. Once at Ristorante Zebrù, we walk up the north side of the valley on the path. Remaining on the ridge, we proceed swiftly westwards admiring the view of the great Cima Piazzi (3,439 m). We overcome some inhabited areas and finally, with a rapid descent, we reach the beautiful town of Bormio.
The Contado di Bormio maintained its independence even though it belonged to various domains: the Swiss Grisons, the Duchy of Milan, and finally Napoleon.
Its strategic trading position, between Italy and Switzerland, has contributed to turning it into a rich and flourishing area.
Bormio is renowned for the properties of its thermal waters.
In the Bagni di Bormio area, it is possible to relax in warm waters, both in private structures and in a small public swimming pool built on the edge of the river (called "Pozza Leonardo da Vinci").
Famous since the ancient Romans, it is possible to visit the Fonte Pliniana, whose water is the warmest and purest among the nine springs.
You cannot finish a meal without the local tonic liquor, a symbol of the entire Valtellina: Braulio.
The mix of herbs that compose it remains a secret, but surely the result is a perfect remedy for digesting the "demanding" local dishes.
Rifugio Campo, Val Zebrù. Tel. +39 0342 929185
Ostello Alpino, in Bormio. Tel. +39 0342 902712
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus, starting from the town of Tirano with a change in Bormio.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Departure 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.