Ascent to Monte Corno
Campo Imperatore is a wide plateau of glacial origin, and many excursions of varying difficulty are possible. One possible destination is the Calderone, a small glacier, the southernmost in Europe, located at 2800 mt., near the Corno Grande, protected by an amphitheater of steep rock walls. Another fine destination is Fonte Grotta, on Monte Camicia at 2000 mt, which is the highest spring in the Apennine.
Campo Imperatore is not only a great destination for mountain lovers and geologists, but also an area rich in history. For hundreds of years in September shepherds started for the long transhumance journey that would take them to the province of Foggia, in the Apulia region, along the " tracturus magnus". Throughout the plateau, but also along the route, there are many great historical and religious monuments of Abruzzo, starting from the poor stone huts used by the shepherds, to the small countryside churches where they stopped to pray, to the great solitary castles guarding the territory. Recently, in 1991, to better preserve the area, a new national park was established, the "Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains Park", with a surface area of 200,000 hectares, comprising five provinces and 55 municipalities.
From Campo Imperatore the "via normale"
Altitude: min. 2114 mt.
Altitude difference: 810 mt.
Ascent time: 3.15 hours
Descent time: 2 hours
Itinerary with yellow-red signals.
Starting Point: Albergo di Campo Imperatore
At the end of the climb, you leave on your left the turning to Sella dei Due Corni [No. 7 on the map], and climb straight upwards, always following the CAI signals, along hard grainy terrain to the top 2914 (1.15 hours) [No. 8 on the map]. The view is astounding: Corno Piccolo, Pizzo Intermesoli, Monte Aquila, Piana di Campo Imperatore and to the east the hills of the province of Teramo and the Adriatic Sea. On very clear days with binoculars you'llbe able to see Rome and the Thyrrhenian Sea. Between the Western and the Eastern summits of the Corno Grande you will see the Calderone glacier, the Southernmost in Europe. Then you'll come down along the same itinerary, and two hours later you'll be back at the Albergo campo Imperatore.
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