Cima Cioltro via old and almost forgotten paths - or when 360 meets Zaza

Published by 360 Pro , 25 May 2009, 06h43. Text and phots by the participants

Region: World » Switzerland » Tessin » Bellinzonese
Date of the hike:20 May 2009
Hiking grading: T5 - Challenging High-level Alpine hike
Geo-Tags: Gruppo Pizzo di Claro   CH-TI 
Access to start point:cff logo Cresciano, Paese
Access to end point:cff logo Cresciano, Paese

I can probably take Wednesday off. I have a tour in the Valle di Cresciano in mind, which might be interesting for you too!” said Zaza in an email to me. Of course I was interested in an adventure on old and forgotten paths in the Ticino and finally meet Zaza in person! Here’s how it went:

Due to the fact that we both don’t particularly like the CIS Alpino trains, Zaza and me each took an InterRegio train from our starting point to get to the Ticino and met in Biasca shortly before 10 AM. There we then took the bus to cff logo Cresciano, Paese.

First we walked along the marked path in direction Ruscada via Sul Sasso, Cavri and Sotarègn. A new road is currently being built, it looks like it will go all the way to Sotarègn. A brand new nature park has been opened recently in the Valley di Cresciano and two marked paths are on both sides of the river Boggera. We crossed the Boggera at the bridge near P. 1072 and walked on the left side of the river to an altitude of about 1130m and tried to find the old path leading up to the hut at P. 1573.

Since we must have missed the beginning of the path, we traversed westwards and uphill, until we later found the traces of the old path. This old path is most likely not used very often any more and if so probably mostly by local hunters. At the beginning there were orange dots leading the way, later more and more “Steinmannli”. Sometimes the path traces were not very clear and we had to search a little bit in order to find the continuation, but all together it is quite obvious were the old path is, in particular when there are nice steps built out of rocks. In general, at the beginning the path goes up in short zigzag and later when you get to some drops, it makes wider turns left and right and finally reaches the hut from south.

We shortly looked at the hunters hut at P. 1573 (fire place, makeshift bed with straw and a few blankets). After this we then did the most spectacular part of the hike: crossing over to the Alpe Salosa di Cresciano (hut at P. 1574). After the hut at P. 1573, we went down northeast-wards and crossed a little river. At this point the path traces are not very clear any more, but it isn’t hard to find a vertical wall, which blocks the way through to P. 1574. In the middle of this wall there is a narrow, more or less horizontal ledge, about 40cm wide, which goes all the way to the other side. This ledge can be accessed via a few steps and one can walk across on this rather exposed “path” to the other side. Afterwards the path continues along another exposed, but much wider band. Some steps are cut into the rock and we got further down to terrain which wasn’t difficult any more. From there, we were at an altitude of approximately 1480m at this point, we then went straight up to the hut.

At the Alpe Salosa di Cresciano (similarly equipped like the one at P. 1573) we made a short lunch break. Since there was enough time left, we also decided to visit Cima Cioltro. In order to get there, we basically went more or less straight up towards the highest point P.1867, or actually a little northeast of it, bypassing the drops near the top on the right hand side. The actual summit of Cima Cioltro, which is marked on the Swissmap as well, is not the highest point at P. 1867, but at P. 1803.0 southwest of it. Guiseppe Brenna talks about it as an excellent viewpoint and of course we didn’t want to miss that. In order to get there we followed the ridge first to P. 1847 were we left our backpacks and then all the way down to P. 1803.0, which required a little bit of scrambling at some point (T5, could probably be bypassed as well).

Indeed, the view from this nice “balcony” is excellent! We enjoyed it for a while, took some pictures and even found the “Vermessunspunkt”, before we went back up to our backpacks. There we made another short break and then started descending to Ruscada. We first follow the path traces to the saddle Btta di Salosa and from there tried to follow path traces down to Alpe Salosa di Cresciano (Brenna’s described route in the SAC guide). However we soon lost the path traces and just went down to the hut without following any path.

From the hut at P. 1574 there are clear path traces, often marked with “Steinmannli” all the way down to Ruscada. However, sometimes it is not easy to find the path and again, we had to search for it not just once. The general direction at the beginning was NNE, down towards the little river there. After crossing this little gorge, the path continues down on the left side of the river and soon we got to the ruins of an old cave-like hut below a drop. Further down at an altitude of about 1370 m we then crossed another little river on the left hand side and along a rather narrow band (clear path traces, going slightly uphill) we got to the forest leading to the “C” of Valle di Cresciano (on the new 25K map) and from there down to the bridge over to Ruscada without any problems.

There we met a goatherd taking care of his flock and talked to him for a while (he only spoke German, no Italian…). After drinking some water at the huts of Ruscada, we then followed the marked path all the way back down to the bus stop cff logo Cresciano, Paese again. We arrived there 6 PM and thought we missed the bus by 10 minutes and were about to go and look for Grotto, when all of a sudden the bus came anyway and took us back to Biasca. There we had enough time to do some shopping and even drink a Gazosa and beer in a restaurant, before we had to say be to each other again.

Thanks a bunch to Zaza for organizing and planning this very interesting tour and of course his company during the hike!

Zaza: This was fun - Ticino as it ought to be! Many thanks to Philipp for exploring this route and sharing the information!

PS: Oh yes, and I forgot: of course we discussed and all it's users all day long :-)

cff logo Cresciano, Paese – Sul Sasso – Cavri – Sotarègn – P. 1072 – P. 1086 – P. 1573 – P. 1574 – P. 1867 – P. 1847 – Cima Cioltro - P. 1847 - P. 1867 – P. 1573 – Ruscada – Sotarègn – Cavri - Sul Sasso – cff logo Cresciano, Paese

Hike partners: Zaza, 360


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