Bob and I planned to hike the Alps to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We hired Donato for a Saturday hike and then received an unexpected invitation to hike the Alps again with Suzanne and Maurizio on the day of our anniversary. Two different hikes in the alps, oh boy!
Both hikes could not have been more perfect. That’s about all I can say because the beauty renders a person speechless. But I’ll try and describe each day. The videos will show you more than I could ever describe. ( look for both videos)
For the first hike, Donato and Emanuela picked us up at 8:15 and drove about an hour to Macugnaga, a lovely ski town at the foot of Monte Rosa, which is the second highest mountain in all the Alps, and straddles Italy and Switzerland.
We stopped for a cappuccino before we hit the trail. (Monte Rosa is also very close to the famous Matterhorn, which is across the border in Switzerland.)
The first half of the hike is up, up, up. We just keep going up. It started on a gravel road, which I’m guessing is used to get skiers to the lifts. We are surrounded by woods and Monte Rosa stares down on us. She looks like she’s lit by God. Soon the trail starts and we trek switchbacks through the grassy foothills, and the sun is out, beating on me and I am WAY over-dressed. Thank goodness for layers.
We get to just above the tree line and BAM, Monte Rosa is towering over us. I feel like I can reach out and touch her. The next part of the hike is along a dry glacier. Very cool!
The power of nature is clear here. We actually cross the rock glacier to get to a mountain ridge about four feet wide with steep cliffs on both sides. This ridge takes us tPo a mountain refuge that is a place for hikers to stay and eat in summer. We walk another five minutes to a grassy pasture with boulders scattered around. Donato picks a boulder, we climb up, and enjoy our well-earned lunch surrounded by Monte Rosa and her fellow sidekick mountains.
The trek down was just as beautiful. We took the same trail, but somehow it felt new. This trek was ideal to celebrate twenty years of marriage: peaceful, beautiful, satisfying, and occasionally challenging, but always worth it. Thanks Bob. I love you.
To our surprise, it just happened our friends Suzanne and Maurizio invited us to hike the Natural Park of the Devero Alps on the day of our anniversary. It’s also on the boarder of Switzerland with equally stunning views. All the hikes that we have taken are spectacular, yet they all have their own unique speechless views. Nature knows how to show herself off.
The hike started next to a wild rushing river which guides us up into the woods. Next, we find ourselves in a grassy pasture that the alpine cows use to come down from the mountain in winter. This leads us to the top of a valley whose beauty simple takes your breath away. We leave this valley to enter another valley top and are hiking on the edge of the valley, and I mean edge. One wrong step and I’d be rolling hundreds of feet down into the valley. Yes, I was focused, hanging on to grasses (that wouldn’t help if I slipped anyway) and just scared enough to take this section very seriously. We stopped a few times to soak up the incredible views.
After about 20 minutes, we descended a bit to a tiny working farm where the cows live in summer. We saw three stone buildings, and what looked like an area for pigs.
Then we hiked straight up a ridge to the top of this mountain to discover more pasture and a small lake where we sat in the warming sun and ate lunch. Boy, food tastes good after a hard hike.
The rest of the hike was downhill through beautiful woods, past more rivers and waterfalls. Almost at the end, we hiked into the quaint community of Crampiolo, with its restaurants and places to stay. Many tourists hike to this area as there’s an easy paved trail that leads here. We took the high path.
As the sun was setting, we hiked another half hour along the river back to the car. I could not have planned a better way to spend my 20th year with a perfect partner. Cheers to you Bob!