18-May-2002 -- Again - May turnes out to be too early for "normal" hikes above 2500 m (8200 ft) ....
Since 46°N-008°E is located some 110 km (68 mi) south from "our" mountains around
Innsbruck, I hoped that snow melt in sunny Italy made more progress than in Austria.
Obvious it´s rather a matter of altitude than latitude ....
Snow crust and slush up to your knees increases the strain instantly,
also you can´t see the way marks or hidden obstacles anymore. The weather (overcast and
rainy generally this saturday) grew colder every minute, heavy fog was falling in - the art of
staying alive in mountainous regions is to obey the limits.
So well, at 45° 59' 39'' North and 008° 01' 00'' East I decided to let it be this time ....
46°N-008°E must be appr. 1400 m (4600 ft) ahead, somewhere close to that marked track
Interesting anyhow: to cross the various climate zones from alpine to mediterranean - horizontal
while driving from Tirol to Ceppo Morelli, and back to alpine again, vertically this time while
climbing up Valle di Mondelli toward Passo Mondelli.
The little village of Mondelli at 1200 m (3900 ft) is reachable by car - normally !
Since a mudflow wiped away part of the road and the backup-raod is closed for non-residents
and only passable for smaller cars, I had to leave my car down at Campioli, thus acquiring another
2 km (1.2 mi) hike - oh well !
(a signpost near the detour says "road construction will be finished by end of May",
May 2001 that is :)
The way up after Mondelli is well marked (red-yellow-red, several signposts), constantly gaining
height and easy to hike - only at a little waterfall at appr. 1600 m (5200 ft) I had to climb
several meters with both my feet and my hands.
At appr. 2150 m (7000 ft) you´ll find what I called "stony creek":
a big rockfall with a small creek running between and under the rocks - making noise like a big one !
On your way back, you should take a little detour at that signpost saying "Cascate - Rio Mondelli".
I know I know, thinking about to climb up even one single inch more - seems to be beyond any
discussion after returning from that 1600 m climb to the confluence.
But, unlike many points where the intersection itself is the "main attraction", this waterfalls really
are worth a journey for their own ! Especially the middle cataract, where the water is swirled twice
by 90°, thus jumping some two or three meters in the air vertically before it splashes down
twenty meters toward the main fall - stunning !
The whole area (about 200 x 100 m wide) is full of older dryed up cataracts, easy to climb
and to study the rock-shaping power of running water and how floral life is reconquering its habitats.
It´s really a dignified final - and to me it was a little consolation gift for adding only another
"attempted" to my personal score on DCP .... as we Austrians say: "I´ll be back !"