Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The naturists favourite mountain

Col Nudo from Passo Valbona

Casera Venal
On the peakbagger website there are a couple of trip reports - including one by our own RHW - that talk of endless scree walking on this Ultra - Col Nudo (2472m P1645)
I braced myself for the forthcoming ordeal and set off from the end of the accessible unpaved road at Casera Venal (N46 12 02.6 E012 22 48.1) on track 965.
There was the usual pattern of forest, followed by a little bit of dwarf pine and then grass, rock and the aforementioned scree. 

Col Lastei
However, the path remained almost scree free all the way to the lower summit of Col Lastei. I could see paths on the map and on the ground that were well signposted but they were not headed for the summit so I ignored them. There was an alternative way that was signposted as VF - Ferrata Costacurta - but I didn't have my kit with me and had no idea of how difficult it would be.
Was I on the wrong hill? In a perverse sort of way I was disappointed that I wasn't involved in the 'two steps forward, one step back' struggle of uphill scree walking. Col Lastei was grass and limestone pavement.
Arete and awkward step
From Col Lastei there was a very narrow arete with one awkward step that I did not really wish to repeat on descent - the choice was a very steep drop on one side or a less steep drop with a lot of loose stone on the other. It wasn't until very near the summit that there was  any uphill scree walking. And it wasn't until this point I realised what RHW and others had done, they had come up the route marked as a winter ski trail on the map - blue track 6 through the Ricovero Naturale.
Col Nudo summit
Col Nudo summit and cross

The summit had the inevitable cross, but was nude of any signs of WW1.
However there was the added feature of my very own Brocken spectre.

Brocken spectre

Cima Sora Il Ciot
I was looking forward to using the scree as a quick way down off the mountain. My problem was that as I had not used the scree route on the way up and that it was shrouded in mist (sod's law being what it is - it was not misty before and after my descent of the scree) I could not just run down the scree and had to stop and check where I was going. I knew there were some steep crags amongst the scree.

Scree glorious scree - Ricovero Naturale

Fallen arch
Italian delicacy

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