Verzasca valley round trip

Verzasca valley round trip

Page Type: Trip Report
Lat/Lon: 46.26736°N / 8.77567°E
Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 31, 2007
Activities: Hiking
Season: Summer

a lonesome daytrip in the Ticino mountains

After taking part in the Davos Alpine Marathon race in July 2007 we had some days for resting in the Verzasca valley in Ticino. After two days of doing nothing I was recovered enough for a daytrip in the mountain.
Verzasca river
The path to Madom da Sgiof starts directly at the hotel Al Piee. The first part is a short and gentle ascent to the village Pianesc. Nowerday these houses are weekend homes for rich poeple from the cities, one of it even had a swimming pool.
But only some meters behind the small path to Piano del Vald pasture branches off. It is special in Ticino that more luxury in the valley directly meets more wilderness in the mountains: I almost miss the washed out red marking of the path. The path is hard to identfy in the forest, very steep and includes - in the forest! some rocky sections fixed with chains. Then a creek has to be crossed
hardly visible
but that is an easy task as the creek runs over a plain here
easy creek crossing
Shorty after that I reach Piano del Vald, with a nice view to the upper Verzasca valley
Piano del Vald
It seems to be a holiday home today, despite the harsh ascent - but perhaps another path up there is more easy.
Piano del Vald
the main eyecatcher is Poncione d'Alnasca on the other side of the Verzasca valley
Piano del Vald
red paint on a block indicates the next part
lower Verzasca valley
that is 600m ascent on a long traverse, with some nice views where the forest is less dense
Poncione d Alnasca
until I reach Alpe di Sgiof pasture (1728m)
Alpe di Sgiof
the buildings are not abandonned - but no one is up here in the mid of the summer!
Alpe di Sgiof
Madom da Sgiof summit rises nicely in front of me
fine landscape
But where is the marked route? I look for the markings for quite a while - but in vain. Therefore I head for the east ridge in a direct line. Some clouds occur, but in general the weather remains fine.
above Alpe di Sgiof
At the top of the gentle ridge I meet the path again
at the east ridge
In general it follows the ridge, steeper at the end, but no climbing is required.
final part
No one is up here besides me on a fine day in the summer holiday season!
summit cairn
Views to Lage Maggiore are too hazy and the mountain is not high enough for a Alps main ridge panorama. But it is a fine lookout for the Verzasca valley and mountains
upper Verzasca valley
Even deeper is the drop - 2000m - to the Maggia valley on the other side
summit view
I stay for more than one hour before leaving to the north to Passo Deva
There the long descent to the Maggia valley branches off
Maggia valley
a landscape of green bushes there
all green
I turn east and head for the Verzasca side. One level lower Lago del Starlaresc is waiting
Lago del Starlaresc
This is truly one of the finest moutain lakes I have ever seen! A rare jewel 1000m above the valley
Lago del Starlaresc
Madom da Sgiof also looks fine from here
Madom da Sgiof
Time for another rest
time for some rest
at Lago del Starlaresc
The little bridge over the drain of the lake is a piece of art
The descent is still long and needs caution, again the path is sometimes hardly visible. And I can't take my eyes from the impressive tooth of Poncione d'Alnasca on the other side, looming in the afternoon sun. I've never been there but with all that granite rock the landscape resembles a bit of Yosemite valley
afternoon light
another short ascent leads to the outpost of Matar (1304m)
still another hour of descent ahead until I reach the valley again
evening in the Verzasca valley


map with route

online map is available here


Post a Comment
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WoundedKnee - Jun 5, 2009 5:35 pm - Voted 10/10

I like the format

I may steal it for a future report. Sounds like a fun day out.

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Jun 5, 2009 6:17 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: I like the format

for me since decades the normal way of telling a story about mountains is a slideshow. So I try to imitate it by this format.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2