Monte Vettore

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Monte Vettore (2476m) is a prominent mountain in the Sibillini range. Anyone with a great passion for Tibet and Lhasa will simply love this corner of the Central Apennines.

From San Marino to the Sibillini mountains

Leaving the upper class in San Marino behind, I was utterly happy to head back to the Central Apennines and the more grandiose mountains found there. I didn't know very much about Monte Vettore beforehand, other than it was the highest mountain in the Sibillini mountain range. First I had to drive to Ascoli Piceno, where I continued on narrow roads behind a few camper vans (I hate them!). The winding road took me first up to Montegallo then onwards to a high pass (Forca di Presta) just south of Monte Vettore. This pass is actually the most used trailhead for Vettore and there is a car park and a hut, Rifugio Forca di Presta, with served food and beds.

Stunned by the beauty of Piano Grande

It was almost sunset and way too late for a hike up Monte Vettore, so I continued driving across the mysterious landscape of Piano Grande, a huge karstic basin that once was a glacial lake. I wasn't quite prepared for what was in store for me. The low angled sun created an extra magic to this immensely beautiful mountain plateau. When I spotted a medieval village on top of a small hill, I thought for a second that a time machine had sent me back at least 100 years to Lhasa in Tibet.

A few minutes later I arrived Castelluccio di Norcia, which from a distance resembles a smaller version of Lhasa and Potala Palace. This village has several small lodges, and after a few inquires I ended up with a room for approximately 35 Euro. Castelluccio di Norcia lies at 1452 m.a.s.l, which makes it the highest settlement in the Apennines. A nice place to spend the night, although a bit chilly at this elevation in autumn.

Strong winds on Monte Vettore

Next morning I drove (5-10 minutes) back to the pass Forca di Presta. I measured the elevation to be around 1540 m.a.s.l at this trailhead. There was already a few cars parked here, but some of the hikers seemed to be in serious doubts because of the dark clouds and an icy cold wind. So a few of them actually drove away, probably hoping for a better opportunity another time. I knew this would be my only chance, so I didn't hesitate at all, off I went on the well trodden trail.

The strong headwinds somewhat halted my progress uphill, but my overall pace and fitness felt quite good. I ascended into a dark cloud but eventually emerged from it, and I could see a small hut in a saddle above me. I didn't stop at the hut (Rifugio Zilioli), because from the saddle it was just a short and easy stretch to the summit of Monte Vettore (2476m).

Bagging two more summits

The ascent of Monte Vettore had only taken me 1 1/2 hours, so I had plenty of time to rest here, although the icy cold wind made me break up after a few minutes. The clouds didn't look so spooky anymore, so I decided to bag a couple of peaks west of Vettore. First I had to retrace my steps to the saddle and hut, before I started on the interesting ridge to Cima del Lago (2422m) and then onwards to Cima del Redentore (2448m). The ridge was not narrow or exposed, but I continuously had to watch out for the strong winds, to avoid becoming airborne off the ridge. I reached the latter summit 45 minutes after I had set out from Vettore.

The cold wind made my break on Redentore a very brief one, and I started traversing back the same way to the small hut at the saddle (Rifugio Zilioli). A large crowd of maybe 20 people were hanging around the hut, no doubt that Vettore is a frequently visited summit, especially on Sundays. Then I hurried down for another 35 minutes or so to the car park.

Back in my car I was not sure where to drive, but I was most likely going to do Monte Velino the next day, and that meant I had to drive towards L'Aquila.

My GPS-track at EveryTrail

Photo Album

Posted by gfg on Sunday, October 07, 2012. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

4 comments for "Monte Vettore"

  1. hi, I will visit Le Marche in March and I hope to hike up Monte Vettore. it appeared to be Summer time for your climb. what advice might you give? I expect that I will need crampons?

  2. Vettore is perfect for skiing in March. Under normal conditions, crampons would not be needed, but you never know, so bring it...
    See skiing Vettore here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ISNhj50fB4

  3. thanks a million. I travel there from Ireland so I am planning to bring all. will it be necessary to obtain an OS map or is this mountain well signposted to summit with clear paths, as would be in say Germany.

  4. There is a clear path in summer, but in winter it will be covered by snow. I bet there will be a lot of ski tracks to the summit. Bring a Garmin GPS or a cellphone w/gps and offline maps, I always do in case of whiteout. Enjoy your trip !

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