June 17- June 28, 2017
|Travel Dates||June 17- June 28, 2017|
|Description||The Maritime Alps rise in a spectacular mountain group only 30 miles from the Mediterranean. Starting in Italy and ending in France, we will traverse them, going over several high mountain cols, past numerous lakes and cirques and climbing at least two major mountains. This Very Strenuous trip is for expert hikers who have tolerance for exposure, rough terrain and are accustomed to using crampons and ice axes on moderately steep snow slopes. Our packs will be light, no more than fifteen pounds as we will be staying in mountain refuges. Much of the trip will be in high alpine terrain with glaciated rocks, talus, scree and snow but we will also travel though the mountain intermediate zone of meadows and forests. The weather is Mediterranean, somewhat milder and more stable than the Alps to the North. Everyone on the trip must be capable of doing the minimum distance from refuge to refuge each day, but it will be possible to do additional side trips and ascents almost every day. The Maritime Alps are famed for their abundance of king ibex and chamois which wander freely through the park with little fear of humans. We will frequently see them on the trail and near the refuges. They are also known for the great diversity and number of their mountain flowers which we will see at their high point in the Spring. On two previous trips, we had the refuges and hotels to ourselves during the week and at times we seemed to be the only hikers in the entire mountain range. Our trip is in the Italian Piedmont and French Nice provinces which have a well-deserved reputation around the world for their foods and wines. The friendly rifugios, albergos and hotels where we will stay will introduce us to this local cuisine. This trip also offers the chance to visit two of Europe’s most interesting cities, Turin and Nice.
Here is a short description of the Italian Maritime Alps from the book: Wild Italy: A Traveler’s Guide by Tim Jepson. (1995)
“They are some of the wildest and least-known mountains in the Alps with peaks of over 3000 meters (10,000 feet), the Alp’s most southerly glaciers, high meadows, crystal- clear streams and dense forests…Their proximity to the Mediterranean lends a distinctly southern flavor… The higher slopes are more verdant than in the central Alps, the scenery more enclosed, the rocks more chaotic, the valleys narrower, the peaks more heavily glaciated. Forests are thicker, trees more numerous, and everywhere there is more variety, less habitation and- above all-more solitude.”
Equipment: Trekking poles are essential. Because we will encounter many moderate and some steep snow slopes, we will carry crampons and ice axes. You should have boots that can hold an edge in snow or steep terrain. Since we do not have to carry camping gear or food, you only need a day pack which should not weigh more than twelve pounds exclusive of food and water. (I will send you a detailed gear and clothing list upon registration.)
Level of Fitness: The days are planned for fit hikers just arrived from sea level. If you are an Adirondack a Plus winter hiker who can handle moderately steep snow, you should do well on this trip. Many of the trails are well graded, thanks to the kings of Italy. Because we are going in early season, we are likely to find some snow on the passes and will carry crampons and ice axes as a safety precaution. Several of the ascents and descents are substantial. If you do not like steep drops, snow, rocky and uneven, shifting and exposed terrain, this is not the trip for you. You must be willing to manage your pack weight and you should be in condition as you arrive for this challenging trip.
|Included||Lodging and meals from the beginning of the trip on the evening of June 17 to breakfast on the morning of June 28, ten nights, ten dinners, ten breakfasts, nine lunches|
|Payment Policy||A deposit of $600 is due at the time of registration; the remaining balance of $1050 is due no later than March 1, 2017.|
|Cancellation Policy||If you need to cancel the trip at any time, a $100 ADK registration fee is nonrefundable. The balance of the deposit is fully refundable up to March 1, 2017. After March 1, 2017, no refunds are possible unless your space can be filled from a waiting list. If the ADK cancels the trip or if in the opinion of the leader this trip is not for you, the full amount will be refunded.|
|Accommodations and Meals||The rifugios have bunk rooms and may appeal for their very simplicity. They are traditional mountain refuges, rather than hotels. The Balma-Meris in Sant’Anna, the Hotel Royal in Terme di Valdieri and the Chamois d’Or in Casterino are first class hotels. The trip assumes two to a room in a hotel. If you require a single room there is a surcharge.|
Day One, Saturday, June 17, 2017
We meet in the village Sant’Anna di Valdieri about an hour from Cuneo at the Locanda Balma- Meris. You should plan to arrive sometime that afternoon in time for our first evening meal. Sant’ Anna is a historic village in the deep Gesso valley. Once a summer residence of the kings of Italy, the village has a grocery store and a small museum.
Day Two: Sunday, June 18, 2017
We climb 899 meters to the Rifugio Livio Bianco situated on a large alpine lake surrounded by high mountains. Half the ascent is through forests following the cascades of the Meris valley, and then we emerge into high alpine pasture-lands to the Lago Sottano della Sella. This is an easy day following the guide’s rule that the first day of a mountain trek should be a half day. (Lunch not included on this day.
Day Three: Monday, June 19, 2017
No ATMS are available during the trip. All meals and lodging with the exception of one lunch are included so you need cash for drinks for a snack and for an occasional shower.
All huts and hotels have internet sites as do the two national parks, Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime and Mercantour.
|Registration Procedure||To register and for more information, an application and to sign up, contact the leader, Roman Laba, 22 Front Street,, Schenectady, NY 12305; 518-374-2586; ROMANLABA@AOL.COM|
|Trip Leader||Roman Laba|