Monte Corvo, wich name means Mount Crow, is a mighty and severe mountain in Gran Sasso range. With an elevation of 2625, it’s one of the highest summit of Gran Sasso and of whole Appennines chain.
I had climbed all the most important summit of Gran Sasso, except Monte Corvo.
Last Sunday (10th of June 2007) I climbed it first time, and so I report it to you.
The climbThere are many routes to climb Monte Corvo, and all of them are long and hard. The longest one it’s probably the route wich starts from Campo Imperatore: it cross four saddles, touches three valleys, penetrating into the wild heart of the Gran Sasso range... We chose it!
We started in four (Leo, Linda, Clara and me), from the Campo Imperatore Hostel (2120 m). The weather was cloudy, with some spot of sun: the forecast said “probability of thunderstorms in the afternoon”...
We took the path towards Passo della Portella (2240 m); we reached it, then we took the ridge of Pizzo Cefalone, but we left it soon, to descend to the bowl under the Pizzo Cefalone East face: beautiful place, wild and suggestive...
We crossed the bowl and we met the first hard slope of the day: short but steep! After this quite hard climb, we reached Sella del Cefalone (2320 m) and the ridge joining Pizzo Cefalone with Pizzo Intermesoli. Walking on this green and scenic crest, we reached Sella dei Grilli (2250 m), under the Pizzo Intermesoli south side.
Standing in this wonderful place, we were lured to stay there, taking sun bath... But “when mountain is calling, we must go!”, and we can clearly see Monte Corvo, in front of us, that was daring us...
We left the path and descended directly towards Valle Venacquaro. We reached Conca del Venacquaro (1910 m), a beautiful green bowl, where live many half-wild horses. These pastures were in bloom, and we could see thousands of blue, yellow, purple flowers... We drunk some drop at the Venacquaro spring, then we went up the steep meadows to Sella di Monte Corvo (2236 m).
When we arrived to the saddle, we was under the last stretch of the route: there was stilll only 400 m in elevation to the top. We can’t wait too much: after a short pause, we started.
We reached the rocky south ridge of monte Corvo; we walked on it, avoiding its big rocks, and with a last effort we finally reached the summit (2623 m)!
Unfortunately, the weather was overcast: big clouds covered panorama... After a fast meal and a summit photo, we started the descent (we took the same route we climbed up): when we were at Sella di Monte Corvo, the first drops of rain began to falls... We reached suddenly Valle del Venacquaro and, without stops, we began the climb-up to Sella dei Grilli. Meanwhile, we heard some thunders... Ok, no fear: we put our axes in the backpack and hurry up... Fortunately the thunderstorm moved away from us, but a light shower of rain continued to gently wash us...
From Sella dei Grilli we didn’t take the way we did in the morning, but we descended the scree on the east side: with some jumps we were in Val Maone (1900 m). From there, we followed the path to Le Capanne (a pasture where there are some ruins of ancient shepard’s huts), meeting a chamois wich fled away...
From Le Capanne, we took the path to Passo della Portella, crossing Campo Pericoli always under a light shower of rain. The last uphill slope of the day was not so hard... When we arrived at Passo della Portella, the rain stopped to fall! We can had a little rest, made a snack and above all drink (I was thirsty like a man who crossed a desert!). From Passo della Portella there was only 40 minutes to the start... Well, suddenly the mountain gave us its goodbye with an heavy rainfall! We reached the Campo Imperatore Hostel completely wet: fortunately we can change our soaked dresses with the dry ones that we had carried with us. And after an hot cup of tea and an espresso coffee, we were ready to return to Rome, happy for the beautiful day spent across these wonderful and wild mountains.
The route from Campo Imperatore is long, but not so hard: I think it’s awesome because of the variety of different views (you can touch Val Maone, Valle Venacquaro, Val Chiarino,Campo Pericoli, changing so many sides of mountains) and for the wilderness of the places you cross.
I advise it to you, but if you dont’like rain... Take a shorter route when weather forecast predicts “Rain-showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon”!
Higher point: Monte Corvo summit, 2625 m
Lower point: Val Maone, 1900 m
Total distance: about 20 Km
Total elevation gain: about 1750 m
Time: it took to us about 8 hrs 20 min (4 hrs 20 min to go, 4 hrs to return) no counting stops.