Monte Adamello

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Adamello is one the most famous mountain group in the southern Italian Alps, closed to the lake Lago di Garda. The highest peak is the Monte Adamello, which is 3539 meters high. It overlooks a vast glacier plateau, the Pian di Neve. Adamello has a very sad history: Many soldiers died there during the First World War; mainly due to coldness, avalanches and crevasses. But there were also heavy fights between the Austrian and Italian armies. You still find a lot of relicts of this war like shoes, barbwires, cooking stuff, stations, ...
 
We climbed Monte Adamello mid of October 2010, which is relatively late for such a big glacier tour. You should have all glacier equipment like crampons, ice-pick and ropes. There are huge crevasses on the Pian di Neve, more than 50 meters deep. So we started our trip which heavy backpacks at the Capanna Stella Alpina, south west of Monte Adamello. The Capanna Stella Alpina is accessible for smaller cars via the Valle del' Igna. It is a very narrow and steep street, starting from the small village Cevo. Our VW California fitted exactly, we were happy that it is not wider! Cevo can be reached easily from the town Lovere at the lake Lago Iseo, driving up the river Fiume Oglio to the town Malonno.
 
The Capanna Alpina is just 1400 meters high, so it is more than 2100 meters to the top of Monte Adamello. Fortunately there are many mountain huts and bivouacs on the way. But we had to carry additional gear like sleeping bag, cooker and all the food.  Our backpacks were definitely heavier than 20 kilograms!
 
On the first day we walked to the bivouac Bivacco Salerno, located closed to the Salerno saddle 3100 meters high. It is a beautiful way along the artificial lakes Lago Salerno and Lago Dasazzo.
 
Lake Lago Salerno
 
After three hours hiking, we achieved the now closed mountain hut Rifugio Prudenzini, approximately 2200 meters high. Still more than 4 hours walking to the Bivacco Salorno with now very inconvenient backpacks!
 
Way to Bivacco Salerno (in the red circle)
 
Soon our path became very steep with some easy climbing. A lot of unpleasant snow was in the rocks the last vertical 200 meters. Finally we were at the bivouac, very exhausted! It is placed in a fantastic environment on a ridge over the huge glacier field Pian di Neve. The views are sensational like on top of a huge mountain.
 
Bivacco Salerno with Pian di Neve and Monte Adamello in the background
 
 
The bivouac is something like a bigger metallic snack box. Its inside is very basic: Just three double berths arranged in a U, one stool and few blankets.
 Inside Bivacco Salerno
 
 
We cooked our dinner on the stool. We were so exhausted, that we ate just a soup and some chocolate. Soon we moved to our sleeping bags because it became uncomfortable cold. Next morning we started early due to the snow on the glacier. Fortunately the snow was relatively hard and there was a very small track on the glacier from three people some days ago. We were totally alone on Pian di Neve and the whole trip!
 
We crossed just a small part of the huge Pian di Neve, closed to the saddle Paso dell Adamello. The last step requires one hour relatively easy climbing in snowy rocks over the south face. We stored our heavy back packs at the beginning of the rocks; so we could enjoy the climbing. The top of Monte Adamello was overwhelming: Stunning views but also some memories of the bloody war.
 
On top of Adamello, north view
 
 
On top of Adamello, south view with Pian di Neve
 
 
We stayed more than one hour in the warm sun at 3539 meters, mid of October! The trip back was long and we were still a little bit exhausted from the previous day. Fortunately one room of the Rifugio Prudenzini was open and the facilities were much better than on the bivouac. We decided to stay an additional night there and we enjoyed our dinner tremendously. We were hungry like wolves!
 
Dinner at Rifugio Prudenzini