Four intrepid hikers set out early one gorgeous Sunday morning in May to hike Monte Velino in the close Abruzzi. It is not far from Rome but is considered an expert’s hike, as the change in altitude is 1100 meters to the Rifugio or 1500 meters to the summit.
The hike is well marked and the trail is open, almost a road up, though very rocky. We chose Route #3 as the easiest of many up the mountain. There are lovely views of the village of Rosciolo in the distance during most of the climb. We passed wild horses on the path, two with colts / foals, and we were followed by a beautiful Pastore Abbruzzese mountain dog.
Our first goal was the fountain at Vallone di Sevice, dating from 1909. It took us three hours, with the usual stops on the way for water, the views, photos, and for one of our group to do a bit of off-trail rock climbing! A real highlight of the climb was a surprise chance to go butt-sledding on a wide swath of snow remaining from winter.
Our next destination was the Rifugio Capanna di Sevice, another 30 minutes walk up from the fountain, for a total of 3.5-4 hours to read 2119 m.
The summit of Monte Velino, at 2487 m, was still more than an hour further (4-5 hours total). One group member was eager to get a ‘cache’ as an avid geocacher, so he set out with his partner. Halfway there, they realized that the going was risky, on a slippery ridge with ice and snow leftover from winter, especially with limited time.
After a well-deserved rest, we headed down, a three-hour return trip on steep slippery rocky paths!
- Many thanks to the Hikers Gone Wild for sharing!