What to do in a foggy late winter day, on Saint Valentine, avoiding the classical spa tour or the candle lit dinner? Why not to go discovering a new peak?
And unconventional as we are, we bring a friend along, or maybe is him who brings us, we are not sure. One way or the other, we dress warmly and put a snack in our backpack, snowshoes and poles at our fingertips, so we go.
Sbaron Peak is waiting for us!
With a few hard times, we get with our car to Prato del Rio, half an hour drive from Condove, driving the covered in a thin snow layer hairpins very carefully and with a chill down our spine the whole time. We get to the few houses and park somewhere on the side of the road, a few minutes to get ready and with our snowshoes well secured to the backpacks we are ready to leave.
The start of the path is very easy, is a wide pretty flat road, and we have plenty of time to chat and talk, plunged into this eerie foggy landscape.
Once we have walked the long and easy path, we arrive at the crossroad with the other trail which brings to Collombardo, where we had one of our first adventures together. Finally the trail become slightly steep after the long flat one.
It’s still not time to put on the snowshoes and we do begin to doubt if it will ever be, since except for some random places where snow have accumulated push by the wind or the slope, there is almost none on the ground. We are mostly walking on the grass or in the mud.
True is, we are not at a great altitude, we left sligthly above 1.300 meters and will get up to 2.200 more or less, but in this time of the year there should be a meter of snow at least. The problem is – or our luck maybe, for us and for all the snowshoes non-lovers – the temperatures are high, so high we brought our heavy jacket just for safety, but they will probably stay on the bottom of the backpack.
We leave the trail eventually and a good slope begins. Even though is an easy walk for everybody, the total heightdrop of 900 meters added to the snow on the ground are making it a good training for us, even if far away to be even compared to the effort we made two weeks ago, when we reached the Luca Reboulaz Hut after a long sweat.
This annoying rain mixed with snow is going of falling down and along with the low clouds, it creates a very high humidity level. Adding this to the not very wintery temperature and the total stillness of the air, it sums up in a big sweat: it’s too cold to undress and to hot to stay covered.
So, the result is that we are very sweated, but a bit of humidity will never take our smile away, as you can see from the super happy Beppe’s face, our friend and maybe a little bit third wheel – I’m joking Beppe, it’s always a pleasure and a lot of fun to walk with you!
We thanks the decision to download the gps track, but after the lesson we have had back when we were searching for the Molino Hut, hidden in the fog just a few meters from us we are being more careful. We now can easily stay on the trail which goes straight to the top – that we are not nearly seeing and cannot even figure where it is.
Once we are finally on the ending ridge, some ten minutes before we reach the top, maybe Saint Valentine or just some luck, we have the perfect gift and arrive at the Sbaron Peak under a blue sky, not clear that’s sure, but at least is a changing from the white and grey we are seeing from this morning.
Shortly after we get to Sbaron Peak and for a little while we can see all the peaks around, but it’s just a matter of seconds, such few that we cannot even take a picture and everything is white and cloudy again.
We take some minutes to relax, eat the little chocolate snack we have, then a chilling wind begins to flow and it decides we have been up here enough: it’s time to go, before we totally cool down, sweated as we are. The snowshoes, as we have forseen, are still tied to the backpacks and there will stay for today.
We can leave now, a long way is waiting for us before to reach the car and Sbaron Peak salutes us with a last piece of blue sky, before it gets cloudy for good. At least, it’s neither snowing nor raining and the way down is fast and easy.
The snowshoes has been a nice backpack furniture and we have had a nice and different Saint Valentine day, far away from the crows in some random restaurant, well happier to enjoy a day in the outdoor, a day close to the nature, all of it shared with a friend.
Walking on our way back, we look at the map and the gps track and get aware we were not far from another peak, Punta di Grifone – Grifon’s Peak – so we write down another place to go someday in the future.
And chatting and smiling, we are again at the starting point where we parked. It has taken us just a few hours and it feels weird to go home already, used to spend long weekends out, but it has been a nice adventure nontheless.
See you next time folk!
This article is available : Italian