Sunday 12 October 2014

Route Overview

My route pretty much follows the border of Italy all the way, and is very loosely based on a combination of the Via Alpina red, blue and yellow routes.  However, I wanted to do a higher level route that combined much more challenging ground so this is what I came up with.  My full plan is very ambitious in that it takes in a lot of summits.  There's no way I'll do all these unless I have perfect weather over 2 months which is not exactly likely.  This is a dream scenario so I'll just do as much of it as I can, and accept that sometimes I'll need to follow a lower or less difficult alternative.

Its quite appealing to go from sea to sea, but the reality appeared to be that the first few days from Trieste would be rather dull dirt roads and woodland trails, so I've decided to start on the edge of the Alps proper at Cerkno.  You can get there by bus from Llubljana which is accessible by train from the UK, so I'll start there after a 2 day journey.

The route breaks down as:

Julian Alps - Trails then via ferrata up spectacular Limestone mountains

Karnische Alps - Follows the border of Italy and Austria, initially on wooded hills, then Limestone mountains with some via ferrata

Dolomites - A challenging link up of as many high level via ferrata as I could find including several of the major summits and mountain groups such as the Sextner Rotwand, Sorapis, Tofana, Langkofel, Sella and Rosengarten.

The Ortler
South Tyrol - Gentler land from Bolzano to Merano and then back over 3000m+ mountains to the Ortler.

Ortler to Bernina to Disgrazia - Mountaineering linked by high Alpine paths.  Possible ascents of the giant Ortler, the Piz Palu - Piz Bernina traverse and Monte Disgrazia, followed by a high level traverse under the Piz Badile.

Ticino to Monte Rosa - Some big days along trails and some 3000m+ summits through less well known but beautiful parts of Switzerland.

Roof of Switzerland - Monte Rosa peaks over Lyskamm and Breithorn.

High Italian passes and a few 3000m+ summits from Valtournenche to Courmayeur passing South of the Valais Alps and Mont Blanc ranges.

Monte Viso
Mont Blanc - Mont Blanc from Italy and traverse over Aiguille de Bionnasay.

Begins on the GR5 to the Vanoise National Park, but soon abandons this for a more high level and rough route taking in 3000m+ summits in the Vanoise, Queyras and Mercantour national parks to the Mediterranean including an ascent of Monte Viso.

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