The Return to the Val Grande

View from the rim towards the South with the flatlands of Italy in the background

“We will come back for sure!” – you can read this phrase at the bottom of my short Val Grande trip report from 2019. In October 2021, we did it again and headed back to the Val Grande for yet another extended weekend with amazing trails and a huge amount of luck in regards to the weather situation.

While the rest of Switzerland was on its way towards winter (snow from 1500 meters on), the northern part of Italy was still snow-free, even above 2000 meters. So we went down to Italy in order to spend an extended weekend in the lovely national park Val Grande where challenging and beautiful trails were waiting for us.

Day 1:
We started in Colloro and hiked up to the pass Bocchetta dell Usciolo and down into the beautiful Val Gabbio. Unfortunately, the weather was misty but at least without rain. We slept in the “quite crowded” Bivacco In La Piana – #protip: Try to not overnight there in case you want to be on your own. This hut has quite a high chance that someone will be around due to its central location in the valley.

Day 2:
We climbed up to the Scaredi hut located at the rim of the valley while the sun was rising. This area was already crowded with dayhikers which we left behind us quite soon when we entered the ridge towards Cima Marsicce. This section takes more time due to the exposed sections which you should cross carefully.
Finally, we turned right into the Rio Pianezzoli Valley and camped near the Alpe Pian di Boit, which was locked unfortunately. We had already around 0 degrees during the nights.

Day 3:
We underestimated this day in terms of beauty: This trail downhill from the Alpe Pian di Boit towards Cicogna and then further towards Cossogno was clearly my highlight of this trip. The river, the trails, the weather – it was all a perfect mixture of adventure and relaxation. So this trail is definitively a great point to enter into the Val Grande.

Conclusion:
The Val Grande again polarized with its deep and dark valley, its sharp ridges and amazing views into Italy and the higher Alps. It was amazing the first time, it was even more amazing the second time – I’m looking forward to my 3rd time in the Valley.

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