Last summer, the Alta Valtellina Mountain Community adhered to the Trekker Loan Program, created by Google to allow tourist organisations, not for profit associations, universities, research organisations and other third parties to borrow the Street View Trekker. Said Trekker is basically a technological rucksack that makes it possible to reach and map out places which would otherwise be inaccessible, thanks to a system of fifteen 5 megapixel cameras fitted to its upper part. It being so easily portable means images can be collected in narrow spaces or places that can only be accessed on foot.
This is how 24 mountain paths with a 360° view were mapped out. Thanks to volunteers from various sections of CAI in Valfurva, Valdidentro, Bormio, Livigno and Sondalo and Stelvio National Park, an amazing 274km of itineraries in Alta Valtellina have been surveyed, photographed and put online, totalling 28,400 metres at altitude.
Therefore, as of today it is possible to “tread” and view paths which stretch out over the spectacular alpine settings of Bormio, Livigno and Stelvio National Park from anywhere in the world, and also navigate easily in VR mode (virtual reality, which can be used with a Google CardBoard visor).
You can also carefully plan a trek, of course, so it will be possible to choose the itinerary which best suits your ability whilst you are still at home (or also enjoy the great beauty of the Alta Valtellina landscape in all tranquillity), accessing the programme and simply moving the cursor…step by step.
From Sondalo to Forni glacier, virtual proposals for top treks in Valtellina
An extraordinary virtual window onto the wonderful trekking opportunities of Alta Valtellina was produced thanks to Google’s Trekker Loan Program in July and August 2017, starting from Sondalo at 740m, right up to the glaciers of Forni and the Zebrù pass in Santa Caterina Valfurva at 3,079 metres. There is a kaleidoscope of proposals for all tastes and abilities, amongst which out and out top treks to be tried when the weather is warm.
The tour of Val Viola, for example, which stretches out over 21km (the well-known Alta Valtellina Skyrace is held in June along this track every year) was the longest itinerary and the one with the widest variety of landscapes (woods, pastures, rivers, alpine lakes, views of the glaciers and of the spectacular San Carlo waterfall) to be mapped out.
Exactly a hundred years after the Great War, it was inevitable that the Trekker would go over Monte Scorluzzo and the Filon del Mot ridge (in Stelvio National Park), where a characteristic military village still exists. Along the entire ridge there are also trenches, stake-outs, redoubts, galleries and the remains of fortifications that are still well-preserved.
In the heart of Stelvio National Park, in the Ortles-Cevedale group, on the other hand, the most classical itineraries have been surveyed which lead to the foot of the Forni Glacier, the largest Italian valley glacier. The view of the crossing of the extraordinary Tibetan bridges near the glacier makes an excursion in this area even more desirable…also due to the opportunity to stop in one of the huts at altitude to savour some of the delicious typical cheeses of the pastures.
In another way, crossing the Cancano dams is also spectacular. These two reservoirs are located in the Fraele Valley, not far from Bormio and Livigno. There are a number of different routes which have been mapped out from here which make it possible to reach nearby Livigno, amongst which the one which leads to Lago del Gallo, on the border between Italy and Switzerland. It is actually in Livigno, along the beautiful route which from the Eira Pass leads to Mine Valley, that it is possible to meet the bikers who test themselves along the thirteen routes of Italy’s very first Bike Park.