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Green x-mas. From Altanca to Lucomagno - where is the winter

Published by MicheleK , 22 April 2018, 22h45.

Region: World » Switzerland » Tessin » Bellinzonese
Date of the hike:25 December 2015
Hiking grading: T2 - Mountain hike
Snowshoe grading: WT2 - Snowshoe hike
Geo-Tags: Gruppo Pizzo del Sole   CH-TI   CH-GR 
Time: 2 days
Height gain: 1000 m 3280 ft.
Height loss: 400 m 1312 ft.
Route:Altanca - Diga Ritom - sentiero sponda S - Fontanella - cap Cadagno - Passo dell Uomo - Lago di santa Maria - diga di santa Maria
Access to start point:Altanca by Autopostale from Ambri
Access to end point:Autostop
Accommodation:Cap. Cadagno Winterraum

During this very strange winter without snow up to more than 2000m there was no white xmas. However we did not want to go without snow and decided to traverse from Leventina valley to Lukmanier pass on December 25-26th on snowshoes. The plan was to traverse in one day and sleep at our refuge Alpe Pozzetta.

Day one
Already getting to Altanca in Winter is not easy but we manage to get there somehow by bus on x-mas day.
The sun is scorching and we go up to the Ritom Basin. Instead of following the sunny path to the N side of the lake we think we take the short cut on the S side. Big mistake - the path, completely in shade is completely iced up and we loose a lot of time negotiating the ice. Thereafter as it is with shade - we find quite a lot of snow but not enough to really use snow shoes. The sun is scorching and the day short.
So we give up the plan of traversing and manage to make it to Rif. Cadagno. IT is open and has a fantastic winter room. We have the whole rifugio to ourselves. We cook a nice dinner on the stove.

Day two:
We leave at 9am after cleaning up - there is very little snow and our snow shoes stay in the rucksack .... 26.12 at 2200m... the scenery up Passo dell Uomo is great and we enjoy the strong sun. We hike down to Lai da Santa Maria. Now the question is: how should we get down again - as there is no Public Transport and we do not want to spend a night there. Again very icy tracks and completely frozen slopes... we are happy when we get to the end of the lake..we try autostop and hurray some locals pick us up and take us down to Disentis.

Despite change of plans etc. we had a very different x-mas and boxing day outing in complete solitude and a real father son experience :)

Hike partners: MicheleK

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