Monte Gambarogno – from spring to winter and back

Published by 360 Pro , 26 March 2009, 15h24.

Region: World » Switzerland » Tessin » Locarnese
Date of the hike:25 March 2009
Hiking grading: T2 - Mountain hike
Snowshoe grading: WT4 - High-level snowshoe hike
Geo-Tags: CH-TI   Gruppo Monte Gambarogno 
Access to start point:cff logo Vira, Paese
Access to end point:cff logo S. Nazzaro, Molinetto

Even though the weather forecast wasn’t all that great for this day for southern Switzerland I decided to go there anyway, because the forecast for northern Switzerland was really miserable to say the least. In addition the avalanche situation dangerous again, but I didn’t feel like staying home. For my goal I chose the little brother of Monte Tamaro: Monte Gambarogno. I was surprised how much snow there still was in Ticino on the northern slopes above 1000m and was glad I planned this as a snowshoe tour.

When I got of the bus in Vira, the sky was blue, with only a few clouds; magnolias, camelias and all sorts of spring flowers were blooming and with the mild temperature it felt a lot like spring. I walked up to Fosano and Monti di Fosano along the marked path. There was already some patches of snow on the ground here and at an altitude of about 850m the snow on the ground was continuous and got deeper and deeper. At the beginning it was hard enough to walk on it without snowshoes.

At Alpe di Sambarsciolo there was already more than a meter  and the further I went, the deeper it got. Since the path marking were now mostly invisible (hidden underneath the snow) and nobody else seemed to have gone up here in a long time, the orientation got a little more difficult. The slope after Alpe di Sambarsciolo  up to Piano di Liema is rather steep (about 35°), but not too difficult.

After I got out of the forest shortly after Piano di Lierna, I decided to not follow the summer path but go up directly to P.1554. The steepness here is almost 40° and together with rather deep snow it was really exhausting. Shortly before P. 1687, there is a big cross on a no-name peak (it is marked as such on the 25K map), which offers a very nice view down to the lake. The rest all the way up to Monte Gambarogno I then strictly followed the ridge which is not hard any more.

By now the sky was covered with rather low hanging clouds and the view limited. After a short break I then continued, first along the ridge later in the west flank down to Santa Anna. From there I then followed the marked path to Monti di Gerra. Here the snow was not so high any more and the path markings were clearly visible, so the orientation was no problem. Shortly before Monti di Gerra I then took of my snow shoes.

At this time most of the clouds had disappeared again and the sky was mostly blue. From Monti di Gerra I then followed the marked path down to San Nazzaro and got to the bus stop exactly at the same time when the bus got there too.

cff logo Vira, Paese – Fosano – Monti di Fosano – Alpe di Sambarsciolo – Piano di Lierna – P.1554 – Cross – P. 1687 – Monte Gambarogno – Orgià – P.1611 – Santa Anna – Monti di Gerra – Monti di Casenzano – cff logo S. Nazzaro, Molinetto

Hike partners: 360


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