Mount Corchia in Winter

Snow on the mountains is too good to resist.  Since the recent storms the Alpi Apuane have been looking really beautiful.  My friend Alexandra took this beautiful picture from sea level on Friday. Who wouldn't want to be up there?

Photo Alexandra Sacks
On Saturday the weather wasn't brilliant - cloud and the odd snow flurry and a grey, lowering sky - but for intrepid mountaineers that only adds to the attraction (we are all certifiably crazy!)  We decided to go up the old quarry road that winds its way up Mount Corchia.  It was quickly apparent that it was more of a challenge than we'd bargained for.  This was more than just a dusting of snow, but deep drifts.  There were also fallen trees from the storm, but most of these had been sawed through to make a gap for vehicles. We abandoned the car - it took all four of us to turn it round - but were pleased to find that the four wheel drive of the rangers had only managed to get a quarter of a mile further on. The trusty Peugeot, now more than 10 years old, is a very solid vehicle!

At first we walked in the wheel tracks left by the rangers' landrover, but soon we were trail-breaking on our own.  The view out over the sea, where the light was constantly changing, was breath-taking.

The buttresses of Corchia just appearing out of the cloud

By the time we got to the level section below the buttresses, roughly 1350 metres up, the snow was just too deep to walk easily through and it was bitterly cold, even with proper clothing.

But the view of the mountains around us was utterly spectacular.  We're aching a bit now, but it was wonderful to be up there in the wind and the snow.


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