Monte Rinalpi ski mountaineering, Alta Valtellina
Mountain Guide Eraldo Meraldi introduces the ski mountaineering trip to the lonesome summit of Monte Rinalpi (3012m), Alta Valtellina, Rhaetian Alps.
The ski mountaineering trip to Monte Rinalpi or, better still, Vallone di Rinalpi is certainly one of those outings that deserve putting in that little bit extra; the altitude gain and its overall length will almost definitely be rewarded with a great ski in a unique location far from the crowds. As you skin up through Val Lia, where squirrels often jump from one tree to the next, and you reach the wide north-facing slope below Cima Piazzi, it becomes clear that this environment is varied, majestic and fascinating. In the past I've even come across a fox close to malge Borron and a curious eagle soaring high above Colle Rinalpi. Once a crow, hopping up, beat me to the summit before spreading its wings and flying slowly down into Valdisotto; its wings barely moved and it disappeared into the blue sky, a beautiful vision that gave me a sense of absolute freedom.
After malga Borron the morphology of the valley changes and you are greeted by harmonious, smooth snowy slopes an our tracks that ascend these slopes must be as such. Vallone di Rinalpi, due to its favorable orientation, is less affected by the wind so most descents are almost always down fairytale, powder snow, fairytale, that you'll remember for quite a while.
This area is both romantic and somewhat forgotten by the passing of time, it's rare that you meet others along this outing and this is why you should slowly savour the day, looking around for shapes and shades of white which the snows create. The unusual view from the summit, onto the "County of Bormio," is a nice postcard to send to the ones that you love, as one used to do in the past.
TOPO: Monte Rinalpi, Alta Valtellina