The Stelvio National Park doesn’t get much publicity in the UK – I’d heard of the Stelvio Pass but not of the Park. It stretches from near Livigno and the Swiss border in the west to St Gertraud in the east and from near Mals in the north to near Ponte di Legno in the south. The nearest large town is Bormio. I decided to go there because I like National Parks, because it’s mostly high, because there are accessible valleys with lots of trails and because there’s a handy guide-book describing the various trails to choose from. My choice of valleys was Suldental and Trafoiertal in the north and Valfurva in the centre of the Park.
I expected this trip to be my ‘last hurrah’ to steep mountain trails but I’ve discovered I can still do them – it’s just a question of fitness (after 3 mountain trips this year, I’m fitter than when I said in June that this would be my last such trip) and allowing enough time. It also helps to get high (in terms of metres) before the trail starts, either by using a summer cable-car or chair-lift or by staying in a high place – in Italy, that means choosing a suitably-placed rifugio. I used this expedient for 9 out of the 11 trails trodden on this trip.
As it turned out – I did not foresee this – this trip is my first featuring some snowy trails since it took place in September (2017) when rain falls as snow above about 2,500m in the Alps. Here is a map showing the location of my trails: