Itinerary: Bivouac – Passo dell’Orso – Capanna Como – Bocchetta di Correggia – Bocchetta del Notar – Rifugio Righetti-Fibbioli (Alpe di Lago)
Distance: 16,2 km
Time: 10 hours (including 1 hour 50 minutes for the stops)
Vertical distance: 1010 m uphill; 1950 m downhill
We both slept more than expected, in spite of stones and grass tufts and were on our way by 6.20 a.m. But progress was slow initially as we were both feeling a little weak after the night in the open. Finding the trail was sometimes not easy when the markers were far apart and still on the shadow side of large stones and boulders. A small col on a ridge had chains on both sides, which provided some interest (see photo 1). Later, we lost about 20 minutes at the Passo dell’Orso by following sheep tracks instead of the marked trail. After about four and a half hours we came to the Capanna Como, occupied by a youth group, who graciously gave us a beer. There was no warden and we would have needed to reserve in advance had we wanted to spend the night there. The nearby Rifugio Avert di Darengo was closed.
Next, we climbed up the 450 m to the Bocchetta di Correggia and traversed to the Bocchetta del Notar, 2095 m. The descent of some 650 m from this col was the worst “path” I have ever experienced. It was well marked with red/white paint but this only gave the general direction. The “path” was often non-existent, down steep grass, blueberry and Alpine rose plants or through shrubs or across boulder fields. But the worst was the long grass that covered a thin track where people had been. This long grass hid all other obstacles such as holes, stones (many with moss on them), shrub roots or steep slippery earth, with a few brambles and ferns as well to add variety. Impossible to go fast, every step had to be taken carefully so as not to trip or stumble. Lower down, the paint marks led over steeper rocks or grass, where there were rusty chains to help, often hidden under the long grass.
In the end the slopes became less steep and we emerged next to the Lagh de Cama (where Peter swam) and went on to the friendly hut. No mobile phone network at the last col (del Notar), nor at the hut, but I was allowed to phone home from their phone that was linked to a special aerial.
1. Peter in action
2. Border marker Bocchetta del Notar
3. Path(?) through boulder field