Sunday, May 16, 2010

Locarno -> Cimetta -> Locarno

After checking out of the hotel we dropped a bag at the train station and then started our way up out of Locarno in perfect weather. The first couple hundred meters, up to Madonna del Sasso, were mostly along steps between houses (memories of the Liguria trip). The path continued through Orselina before we ended up on a really nice old mule path that switched back up, up, up through a chestnut forest to San Bernardo. More up, up, through the trees past Cordaccia and Trigumo before we hit the Cap. Alpe Cardada. Onwards along the now flat path to the Cap. Lo Stallone and the masses of people who've come up with the gondola to Cardada and chair lift to the Cimetta. On the way past the cabana the sight (and smell) of a copper pot of polenta cooking over a wood fire makes it clear that we aren't going to be having sandwiches for lunch. :-)

The last couple hundred meters to Cimetta are along a more-or-less wheelchair accessible path and quite full of people. Up here the wind is blowing pretty nicely (from the North... cold!) and we see some interesting local weather phenomena like a whirlwind of dead leaves and dust working its way down the path towards us. From the peak we have a really nice panoramic view of the Lago Maggiore, the Tessiner Alps, the back of the Walliser 4000ers (including the Mischabel group, Dufourspitze, and Monte Rosa). We also can see a lot of the way we went a couple years ago on our Easter trip in Tessin.

We had talked earlier about continuing on the last half hour or so to the Cima della Trosa but it looks pretty full up there and the polenta is calling, so we head back down to the Cap. Lo Stallone for a very nice lunch.

The route down goes past Cap. Alpe Cardada, then through Cordonica, Brione, and Minusio before we end up back in Locarno and the train home.

A good hike with a reasonable altitude change (the Tessin is good for that!). Going up there were no complaints, but Greg's knee made itself known during the descent... gotta work on that.

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