Thursday, August 9, 2012

20km barefoot hike

Can it get any better? A foot burning frosty start from the Barbara Refuge at 6.50, weak sunshine up  the steep bit, with no wind, then nice warm sunshine when the wind got up around  9 o’clock and perfect weather with a gentle breeze and sun on my back rather than in my eyes all the way up to Pass of the Goats (Colle D’armoine). Despite being August I was passed (as usual) by only two pairs of people heading for who knows where. I didn’t see them again so once again the mountains were all mine. Cresting the pass the view was to say the least, stunning with Mon Viso crystal clear for about 10 minutes. The idea was to do a circular trip Barbara, D’armoine pass, Gianna pass, Barbara. so I didn’t hang about and followed what looked like a cairn trail up from the D’armoine pass. After crossing a boulder fall to skirt a nameless pimple on the landscape, with some difficulty considering the bare feet, the landscape transformed into something almost lunar. Curious rounded terrain littered with flattened rock debris seemingly on top of the world and absolutely beautiful. The sort of featureless place you get lost on in the case of fog, even with the cairns. The sort of place you wouldn’t be surprised to find a yurt on. I had a sort of pre-lunch there, next to the yurt, of curried courgette risotto. Must remember to take that again next hike.  By the time I had dropped down to Rocce Fons the cloud from the bloody Po bloody valley was swirling all over the place. I had a perfect sight of a huge eagle below me circling in an out of the cloud together with what looked to be a kestrel and I started to drop down onto to the ridge that leads, or so I hoped, to the Gianna Pass. At that point of course the cloud dumped on me, I mean, why wouldn’t it? Visibility zero, instantly rather cold and rather scary. Below me was a steep slope into  a nothingness of fog which may or may not have even been the right way. So I abandoned the decent, turned round and climbed back up again. Despite never being a scout I had already taken a bearing on the nameless pimple before the fog came down  so followed that back to the D’armoine pass and thence back to the scooter. Round trip 20 km or so and  eight hours of just me and the mountains, except for a bunch of very friendly foreigners on the way down. I had real lunch - a hard boiled egg - in what has to be one of my favouritest places in the mountain - lago Pieno Sia. Lots of squidgy quasi-mud to splat my feet into. Luverley. And, surprisingly, not a rusty piece of tin can in sight. Well done humanity.
Oh, and to the obnoxious people who asked me where the lake Losere was and snorted at me when I told them it was at least an hour away - na-na-nana-na! Bit more than an hour wasn’t it? Hahahaha!
Lake Pieno Sia

Mon Viso

Oi, where's me yurt?

Rocce Fons 2,696m

Looking down to the ridge leading to the Gianna Pass

Top of the world with Wardruna on the MP3

Lake Pieno Sia