So, the next part of the H3H is finally here… from Sonogno, where we stopped two years ago, to Meran (if all goes well). 18 hiking days, 325km, 19,880m of ascent, highest pass around 3100m, and we'll average about 7h of hiking a day. Yup, another expedition ;-).
I'll be blogging as usual, when wifi / cell network availability allows. Here's the overview:
"We start off where we finished Part Two, at Sonogno in the Verzasca valley in the Swiss canton of Ticino. The first five days we walk through a remote region with atypically scanty tourist infrastructure, and it is no coincidence that the two nights we spend in unmanaged mountain refuges (i.e., no showers, no prepared meals) are during this time. But with "remote" comes often "unspoiled", and while the orderly Germanic regions of Switzerland are lovely, rough and rustic Ticino has its own beauty that is not to be missed.
Next comes the canton of Graubünden, indelibly stamped by the culture and architecture of, on the one hand, the Walser people, who settled and thrived in many high Alpine valleys that would otherwise have remained uninhabited, and, on the other, the speakers of the fourth language of Switzerland – a relict dialect of latin called Romansch. After three nights (and two rest days) in the photogenic village of Vals, we'll go over one high pass after another through the upper watersheds of the Rhine (Hinterrhein) and Inn (Engadin) rivers. We'll cross over into Northern Italy to spend a nostalgic night in the ski center of Livigno (one of the first places my brothers and I learned to ski), before heading back into Graubünden for a day in the Swiss National Park.
Another pass (what else?) brings us down into the spectacular Vinschgau district of Sudtirol… which, despite being part of Italy since it was transferred from Austria at the end of the First World War, remains primarily German-speaking (96% in the last census). After a final sybaritic two day rest in a small spa hotel in the lovely side valley of Matschertal, we'll go over our highest pass (3097m), and then spend the last couple of days walking along the Meraner Hohenweg, a beautiful balcony walk around the Texel massif overlooking the Vinschgau and the elegant spa town of Meran."
And here's the itinerary:
Stage 0, Sun July 17th: arrive in Sonogno, departure dinner.
Stage 1, Mon July 18th: Sonogno (918m) to Capanna Cognora (1938m). +1020m, 5k, 3.5h.
Stage 2, Tue July 19th: Capanna Cognora to Anzonico (985m). +565m, -1520m, 16k, 6h.
Stage 3, Wed July 20th: Anzonico to Camperio (1200m). +1440m, -1140m, 18k, 8h.
Stage 4, Thu July 21st: Camperio to Capanna Scaradra (2172m). +1620m, -650m, 16k, 7.5h.
Stage 5, Fri July 22nd: Capanna Scaradra to Vals (1254m). +670m, -1580m, 20k, 7h.
Sat/Sun July 23rd/24th: two free days (spa hotel, thermal baths)
Stage 6, Mon July 25th: Vals to Turrahus (1694m). +1160m, -720m, 12k, 6h.
Stage 7, Tue July 26th: Turrahus to Andeer (980m). +990m, -1710m, 19k, 8h.
Stage 8, Wed July 27th: Andeer to Savognin (1200m). +1800m, -1580m, 22k, 10.25h.
Thu July 28th: free day
Stage 9, Fri July 29th: Savognin to Bergün (1370m). +1500m, -1330m, 18k, 8.5h.
Stage 10, Sat July 30th: Bergün to Chamanna digl Kesch (2630m). +1260m, 11k, 5h.
Stage 11, Sun July 31st: Chamanna digl Kesch to Zuoz (1720m). +360m, -1270m, 19k, 5.75h.
Mon Aug 1st: free day <Swiss National Holiday>
Stage 12, Tue Aug 2nd: Zuoz to Livigno (1810m). +1290m, -1200m, 20k, 8h.
Stage 13, Wed Aug 3rd: Livigno to Ofenpass (2150m). +920m, -580m, 26k, 7.5h.
Stage 14, Thu Aug 4th: Ofenpass to Taufers (1240m). +610m, -1520m, 24k, 7.5h.
Stage 15, Fri Aug 5th: Taufers to Glieshof im Matschertal (1824m). +1600m, -1020m, 26k, 9.25h.
Sat/Sun Aug 6th/7th: two free days (spa hotel)
Stage 16, Mon Aug 8th: Glieshof to Unsere Frau in Schnals (1560m). +1280m, -1550m, 18k, 8.25h.
Stage 17, Tue Aug 9th: Unsere Frau in Schnals to Pirchhof (1445m). -1080m, +970m, 20k, 7h.
Stage 18, Wed Aug 10th: Pirchhof to Leiter Alm (1550m). +800m, -720m, 15k, 5.25h.
Thu Aug 11th: walk 45m to Hochmuth, down gondola, bus or walk 2+h to Meran station, travel home
Wish us luck! Us being Russ and me going the whole way, Lidia for three stages, Madeleine for four, and several other intrepid friends for varying lengths of time.