Snowdrop

Adventure in the snows of the Orobie mountains in the upper Sedornia Valley. Overnight under the stars and in the comfortable igloo

Bucaneve, an adventure in the Orobie

A weekend in the unspoiled nature of Val Sedornia sleeping in an Igloo

It all began a few years ago when, almost as a joke, the idea was to spend a night in a hole in the snow; so in 2016 together with Paolo, companion of adventures everywhere we experienced the first night at the foot of Top Grem in the Orobie.

The experience gave us magnificent and intense moments so we promised to repeat it in the following years. So, this year, thanks to the large amount of snow that covered the Bergamo mountains during the winter, we could not postpone again and once the destination was decided, we left for two days away, as far as the Orobie allow, from civilization. and immersed in the nature of the high Val Sedornia , a small valley that departs from the orographic left side of the Val Seriana, is characterized by the lack of roads, human settlements if not a couple of huts, a small lake called del Sigorel, and a spectacular amphitheater of slopes that envelop it almost pampering it in its isolation.

With over 25 kg of backpack we opted for a quick approach to the starting altitude taking advantage of the lifts of the Lizzola area, once we reached the saddle at the Mirtillo refuge and got on the snowshoes we left in the direction of the destination that we had summarily identified in the previous days . Particular weather conditions for the period with high temperatures made the snow so soft that, despite the snowshoes, and perhaps also due to the overall weight, it led us to sink at every step. Added to this was the high risk of avalanches whose roar will accompany us throughout the weekend.

After more than two hours of continuous ups and downs we reach the destination where we carefully look for the best point for our “base camp”. A small overhang of the ground surrounded by some larch in the middle of the slope seems to us the best solution so a last effort in the now soft snow brings us finally to the goal. Once you have placed your backpacks and admired the landscape, it’s time to get to work to create shelters for the night and prepare the brazier for dinner.

Taking up the shovel, the excavation begins which over the next 4 hours will take me to dig further 3 cubic meters of snow to create the dozens of compacted snow bricks needed to build the igloo to spend the night. The holes obtained by digging will instead offer a safe shelter to Paolo who opts for the larger of the two to spend the night covered only by a protective sheet.

After a well-deserved afternoon rest and resumed from the fatigue of the day we dedicate ourselves to preparing for dinner, while we wait we enjoy the spectacular sunset, the silence and the peace that only the mountain can offer; every now and then the roar of an avalanche not too far away captures our attention turning our gaze in search of the point of fall.

Happy moments where thoughts, anxieties and worries of life dissolve like snow in the sun leaving space only for long and pleasant silences .

Dinner time is approaching and after a few attempts we manage to light a nice fire by leaning it against the trunk of a tree destroyed by an avalanche. A blanket of stars that timidly appear among the few clouds completes the spectacular landscape that accompanies us in our respective beds for the night that we will spend in unparalleled silence.

Waking up gives us another magnificent sunny day; after a rich breakfast we begin the preparations to leave again, and once the camp has been removed we resume the route to return to the Lizzola pass. The snow is even softer than the previous day, due to a further increase in temperatures, even the avalanches fall at increasingly close intervals, despite the snowshoes sinking with every step but the long and tiring ascent finally comes to an end.

Perplexed skiers watch us as we sit down with our huge backpacks to enjoy a cool beer and a well-deserved rest. See you next time!

THE VIDEO STORY OF OUR ADVENTURE enriched with the timelapse of the construction of the igloo.

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