Madòm da Sgiòf (wow!)

Published by brunoz , 14 September 2017, 20h01.

Region: World » Switzerland » Tessin » Locarnese
Date of the hike:13 September 2017
Hiking grading: T4- - High-level Alpine hike
Geo-Tags: CH-TI   Gruppo Poncione Piancascia 
Height gain: 1515 m 4969 ft.
Height loss: 1515 m 4969 ft.
Route:Pièe - Màtar - Rif. Starlaresc - Passo Deva - Madòm da Sgiòf - Piano del Vald - Ganne - Pièe
Maps:CNS 1292 Maggia

Wow! What a hike! Considering the only decent weather slot of the week available, we thought giving a try to this peak, having in mind the chance of viewing the magnificence of Poncione d’Alnasca from a privileged point. Well, Hikr bears a number of reports to Madòm da Sgiòf, so we knew for good all what was to be expected, i.e. a long walk with quite some sweat! We kicked off from Pièe (Brione) at 6:30, which is most uncommon to my standards, but common practice to Mad; at the end that was an excellent idea. Anyway, we made our way up to Pianèsc, where we missed completely the departing point of the path leading to Piano del Vald; perhaps we have to thank for this occurrence, as I will explain later. However, the path, always perfectly marked and at times assisted by fixed ropes, chains, steel rod steps and wonderfully carved wooden ladders, goes steeply (well, very steeply, actually) until Màtar. Here you get a breathtaking view of the massive Valegg di Gann waterfall. Also, here, we were joined by a pack of four black goats (with whom we shared the following route up to Rifugio Starlaresc). From Màtar the path descends a little, but soon moves again in steep ascent, crosses the Valegg di Gann waterfall, then, ever steep, gets to a tiny flat patch from where you will start seeing Madòm da Sgiòf. Another short walk will lead to the iconic location of Rifugio Starlaresc, with it’s lovely lake. Here we stopped for a needed rest. We were abandoned by the goats (they followed a couple of other hikers) and made our way futher on, contouring the Lago del Starlaresc and following the path, now ascending at a much lighter steepness, to Passo Deva, where the view towards Valle Maggia appears. The summit of Madòm da Sgiòf looks close, but at the same time the route seems problematic. Nothing like that: the path is perfectly visible, well marked and, although at times exposure is there, you will get to the summit with no much hassle. Ok, there are no words enough to tell the rewarding for your effort. The stunning ensemble of Poncione d’Alnasca and Fopia steal the scene, but the overall view goes all the way around and we could pick, among coming and going clouds, as far as Monte Generoso, Pizzo Campo Tencia, Monte Zucchero and all the peaks bordering Valle Maggia and Val Bavona with Valle Antigorio and Val Formazza. The summit book was missing ( ?) from the rubber shaft placed beneath one of the summit cairns. We met a couple of awesome German hiker whom had made their way to Madòm da Sgiòf from Valle Maggia along the connecting ridge to Cima di Nimi. Time for a short rest and then we went down the opposite side, towards Motaruch and the elevation (1.886m on the CNS) which stand above Alpe di Sgiòf. The very first part of this route, right below the summit, is covered with fine rubble, quite slippery. Just under Motaruch is a deviation to regain Capanna de Starlaresc; we went the other way, along a gentle path (always very well marked) which, after having contoured elevation 1.886m, turns leftwise, down the woods overhanging Valle Verzasca. There are still a few assisted passages but, having said that, the length of this route, leading to Piano del Vald, is quite tyring, although being very moderately steep. Once at Piano del Vald (where we offered ourselves some rest) we got an unexpected questionmark: no indication nor any sight at all of the path, well indicated on the CNS, which supposedly would lead to cross Valegg di Gann and then descend to Pianèsc. Probably the path was still there, covered with vegetation, but in any case, not undertaken by too much people and (who knows) perhaps not conveniently maintained, potentially a danger… not exactly wht you need at the end of your hike. We had no option but to follow the path descending towards Ganne, again quite steeply. We eventually reached Ganne (lovely place indeed) and made our way back to Pièe via the Valle Verzasca main road. All together, with a great number of stops along the way, it took us almost 14 hours to complete the tour. Wow, it was a great hike, a great day. Valle Verzasca is fantastic!  

Hike partners: brunoz

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