Bivouac at Monte San Primo + Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano

Publiziert von Stijn , 24. April 2018 um 21:43.

Region: Welt » Italien » Lombardei
Tour Datum:21 April 2018
Wandern Schwierigkeit: T3 - anspruchsvolles Bergwandern
Geo-Tags: I 
Zeitbedarf: 2 Tage
Aufstieg: 2650 m
Abstieg: 2650 m

Day 1
Lézzeno - Sasso Calvarone - Monte Colmenacco - Costa del San Primo
Ascent 1550m, descent 150m, 5h15, T3

The most convenient and reliable way to access the western shores of the Lago di Como is the "Palm Express" Postauto service which runs once per day between Lugano and St. Moritz (obligatory reservation on I get off at Menaggio, where a short walk takes me to the harbour. To my destination of Lézzeno, there is both a fast boat ("servizio rapido", 30min) and a cheaper slow boat ("battello ordinario", 1h; timetables on Since the fast boat does not have an outside deck, I opt for the more relaxed slow boat. This proves to be an excellent choice, the scenery could have kept my eyes and my camera busy for much longer than one hour. I'm almost in a holiday mood when I alight at Lézzone.

After some 200m along the main road, I join the historic footpath that is signposted as "Strada Regia". At Ponisio, I start looking for the path towards the Monte Colmenacco, which is marked as an official hiking trail on my Kümmely+Frey map. However, I cannot find any such marked path. When a ask local villagers, they are very surprised that anyone is looking for a hiking path here and they warn me that the ascent is very steep and wild. Still without clear directions, I zigzag for a while between the different hamlets above Lézzeno, until I end up back on the Strada Regia. At the next possibility to take an uphill path, I take my chances, even though there is no indication where this path is leading (if anywhere). I have given up all hope finding a marked hiking path towards Monte Colmenacco by now. However, after some 10 minutes on the unmarked trail, I suddenly stumble upon a nice hiking path with red-white markings after all! It turns out that this is a different path than the one I originally planned (the official start would probably have been in the village of Carvagnana) but it takes me in the right direction alright. The path is steep and wild indeed, but generally quite comfortable to follow. There are even some fixed chains, most notably at a spectacular traverse by a waterfall at ca. 700m. (Hikr reports about this route have already been published in Italian by martynred and rambaldi.)

A big surprise awaits at ca. 920m above sea level. The Sasso Calvarone is a massive glacial erratic, perched on the crest of the hill. There is a wooden cross on top of the rock which can be reached using a wooden ladder. It's a quite a special place with stunning views over the Lago di Como.

The onward path from the Sasso Calvarone to the Monte Colmenacco is less well marked, indeed sometimes the ascent is almost pathless. At Monte Colmenacco, the views open up in all directions as I leave the cooler woods for good. The ridge from the Monte Colmenacco to the Monte San Primo is also named "Costa del San Primo" and can be hiking without any complications. The north flanks are wooded, while the ground on south face is still scorched from the October 2017 wildfires. However, it is nice to see that crocus flowers are already blooming all over the burned soil.

Since the Monte San Primo summit with the big antenna does not look very appealing, I opt instead for a bivouac on the Costa del San Primo at an altitude of ca. 1620m. There is a little snow up here which I melt to cook my dinner. Otherwise there seem to be no water sources near the ridge. The sunset is slightly spoilt by the hazy atmosphere. Otherwise it's a perfect spot to sleep out in the open, overlooking the pretty lights along the shores of the Lago di Como. The Lyrid meteor shower provides the icing on the cake with some shooting stars overhead.

Day 2
Monte San Primo - Colma del Bosco - Monte Palanzone - Monte Bolettone - Brunate - Como
Ascent 1100m, descent 2500m, 10h30, T2

After breakfast, it's only a short hike to the summit of the Monte San Primo. The view from her onto the Lago di Como is famous, but unfortunately the air is very hazy also today. From the Monte San Primo, I have planned to follow the ridge route that is known as the "Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano" all the way to Brunate above Como. The paths are always easy, but it's still an appealing route. The main path usually traverses below most summits, but there's almost always another path (sometimes unmarked, sometimes marked as "Dorsale per la cresta") that sticks to the ridge and visits all peaks. It should be no surprise that the latter variation also offer the best views.

At Monte Ponciv, two people are doing their morning meditation after having slept there in a tent. They are the first people that I see since Lèzzeno. Following the pretty ridge path over the Monte Corner/Gerbal is a highly recommended. Back on the main path towards the road at Colma del Bosco, dozens of hikers start coming in the opposite direction. The time that I had the whole mountain to myself is definitely over now. The Colma del Sormaro is not only popular with hikers, but also with cyclists and bikers. I stop for some refreshments at the bar, before continuing over the Monte Falò and several other minor summits towards the Monte Palanzone, the highest point on the southern half of the Triangolo Lariano. Lots of people are simply lying in the sun around the Monte Palanzone summit monument. I get the impression that most Italian hikers have sunbathing as a higher priority than hiking itself :).

I take the "direttissima" (following a couple of wooden posts from the summit) down to the Rifugio Riella where I have some lunch. After that, the distances between the three remaining summits of Pizzo dell'Asino, Monte Bolettone and Monte Boletto are a little longer than before. Monte Bolettone is particularly crowded, even though the rifugio here is permanently closed. The Monte Boletto is followed by a long, gradual descent, often on bad cobblestone roads (especially annoying since my feet are already quite sore) and past many restaurants towards Brunate. I mingle with the tourists again by visiting the Faro Voltiano, but I'm a little too tired for a proper "holiday mood" now. Climbing the tower costs 2 euros and indeed the views from the top are much better than the views from the bottom.

The hike has taken me a little longer than planned, but now I am looking to a straight-forward return journey: it's a short walk to the Brunate-Como funicular and from Como there should be two connections per hour to Zürich, sometimes even direct. However, I clearly underestimated the ability of Italians to mess up their public transport, even funiculars... There is a massive line for the funicular in Brunate. After 15 minutes of queuing, I advance as far as the only ticket machine... which is out of order. I look around for help, but there is no staff in sight who can be of any assistance. Even if I would have managed to get a ticket somewhere, there would have been at a further waiting time of a least another 15 minutes. I've had enough and decide that I rather endure the 500m decent to Como on my sore feet, instead of suffering any more funicular chaos. In spite of (or probably thanks to) my anger, I keep a fast pace on the path down to Como and across the city to the San Giovanni station, which I reach in just over an hour from Brunate.

At the station I ask for a ticket to Zürich with half-fare in Switzerland. Even though I was definitely able to buy such a ticket from another Italian station before, this time I can only buy a ticket to Chiasso just across the border. So I hop onto the next S-Bahn to Chiasso, where I discover that I have a 50 minute wait for the next connection to Zürich. In hindsight, for the best connection to Zürich, I should have stayed on that S-Bahn and changed at Mendrisio, but it is very unlikely that I would have managed that connection there anyway, because the S-Bahn already had a 8 minute delay and I still would have had to buy an onward ticket... Now stuck in Chiasso, the good news is that the next train is direct to Zürich. The bad news is that it's one the notoriously unreliable and overcrowded Italian EC trains. Indeed also today, the train is both delayed (though "only" by 10 minutes) and overcrowded (all seats are occupied and indeed reserved until at least Arth-Goldau). I stand by the door until Lugano, where I decide that I rather suffer yet another 30 minute delay, rather than continue like this until Zürich. So I change onto the Swiss (thank goodness!) IC train which takes me to Zürich without any further incidents.

This has not been my first bad experience with public transport in Italy, but it's certainly one of the worst. With the Gotthard base tunnel it could be fairly attractive to explore the mountains in the Lago di Como area by public transport. Unfortunately, the Italian public transport system is so dysfunctional, that it will be a long time before I give that another try...

Tourengänger: Stijn

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Kommentare (2)

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danicomo hat gesagt:
Gesendet am 25. April 2018 um 08:55
As my nicname says, I live in Como.
Beautiful photos in places I know very well, but the path from Calvagnana to Colmenacco in new also for me....

Stijn hat gesagt: RE:
Gesendet am 25. April 2018 um 17:32
Thanks Daniele!
I can highly recommend to you to try out the Calvagnana-Colmenacco path as well, especially the lower part Calvagnana - Sasso Calvarone. The atmosphere is a lot "wilder" than on the fairly "tame" Dorsale paths.

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