Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tonezza' del Cimone and the Bucanevi

Finally, the group's first real spring hike...but it was not meant to be so at first.  The goal at first was Monte Spitz, a 1700-meter mountain that still had some snow on top.  Not only is it high and cold, it is also very far, about two valleys and three rivers between it and the starting point (it is the snowy mountain in the background of the picture below):

Sadly (?), it was everyone's first time doing the trail, and we were hopeless lost once we crossed a river and completely lost track of the trail.  Everything, however, was not completely lost.

Instead of walking through very wet, melty snow, we came across cow crossings-

hiked narrow, exposed trails and saw herds of mountain goats-

chatted with folks cultivating their lands for the first time in months-

jumped between boulders in soon to be not so dry rivers-

found out that there are poisonous snakes in Italy-

And lastly, walked through fields of wild bucanevi or crocuses, the blossoms of which is the plant world's official signal for winter's end and spring's return-

We were all sad to not see the view from the top of Monte Spitz, but I think the alternative was worthwhile.

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