Monday, August 6, 2012

A hike worth undertaking: Lago Ritom

How many of you participated at the 1.August brunch last Wednesday? Did you get a taste for hiking? Or did you miss the brunch and are looking for a little mountain adventure with your kids during these hoildays? Look no further!

Lake Ritom is one of Ticino's pearls. It's not easy to get to but worth the treck! It is situated in the Val Piora with its 28 mountain lakes and is considered one of the most beautiful regions of Ticino. Lake Ritom is the largest of these lakes.

On the tour from Acquacalda over the Passo del Sole to Lake Ritom you experience a natural paradise in all its diversity. The highlight at the end of this enchanting tour is a true spectacle: From Acquacalda up to the Passo del Sole and past Cadagno Hütte to Lake Ritom, it ends at the top station of the steepest funicular railway in the world.

Here adventure hungry sightseers are truly dropped down on a cable. With a breathtaking maximum gradient of 87.8 percent the bright red cable car jerks its way down to Piotta. This almost feels like freefalling – albeit in slow motion. It is not a bad idea to enjoy the panoramic views and some of the many local delicacies in one of the Piora Valley's picturesque "Grotti" – rustic mountain restaurants – before the ride, even if just to muster some pretended courage. Perhaps in the "Capanna Cadagno", where a wonderful brasato polenta is served, garnished with the legendary local Piora cheese that is produced nowhere else but here.

At any rate, this five-hour hike does not in the least lack exclusive features. This is already evident at the beginning of the tour, where holidays in harmony with nature are on offer in the multiple award winning "Centro Ecologico" in Acquacalda below the Lukmanier Pass.

Starting point: Acquacalda
Destination: Ritom
Getting to the starting point: Bus to Acquacalda
Getting to the destination: Funicular railway from Ritom upper station
Technique: medium
Physical fitness: difficult
Length: 17km
Hiking time: 5h10
Season: June till September

If you are feeling a wee bit less active why not pack a picnic, take the cable car (built in 1921 to aid in the construction of the dam) up to Alp Piora and venture around the ten kilometer long Nature Educational Trail, before taking the cable car down again.
It will be an unforgettable experience for your whole family.

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