Friendships at La Forcola in the Stelvio National Park

Author Gillian Price tells a story of an alpine adventure and a new friendship whilst walking in the Stelvio National Park.

Gillian Price - Stelvio National Park
The Stelvio National Park

After a chilly night on the floor of a tiny alpine chapel under the watchful eye of the Madonna, (while Rifugio Larcher was undergoing reconstruction), Nicola and I were labouring up a steep narrow path. It was especially hard going due to the snow that had fallen overnight and hardened under our boots. The going was becoming slippery and we were seriously considering turning back, when we heard crunching sounds behind us, and up charged a cheery Italian mountaineer wearing heavy duty plastic glacier boots, and brandishing an ice axe and a big smile.

Following in his footsteps, we carefully reached the breathtaking La Forcola, a 3032-metre high pass looking down over vast glittering expanses of ice and snow that accompany the line-up of landmark Stelvio peaks such as the Cevedale and the fantastic Gran Zebrù. Roberto was thrilled we'd all made it! After drinking in the magnificence, we all but skipped downhill as in the meantime the warming sun had melted all the snow. Back down at Rifugio Larcher we drank a toast to our new friendship. As it turns out, he lives in a hilltown very close to us. An alpine adventure is a sure way to begin an important friendship.

La Forcola and Rifugio Larcher are visited in Walk 10 of Gillian's Walking in Italy's Stelvio National Park guidebook.

Map of  Italy
Price Gillian

Gillian Price

Gillian Price has trekked throughout Asia and the Himalayas, but now lives in Venice and is exploring the mountains and flatter bits of Italy. Starting in the Italian Dolomites, Gillian has written outstanding Cicerone guides to walking all over Italy as well as Corsica and Corfu. An adamant promoter of public transport to minimise environmental impact, Gillian belongs to Mountain Wilderness and is an active member of the Venice branch of CAI, the Italian Alpine Club.

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