Trail of “Campo dei Fiori” – Bormio – valley of Braulio

The Campo dei Fiori trail is the most difficult trail in the whole Bormio area

Total length of excursion: 8900 meters
Total uphill difference in height: 378 meters (downhill difference in height: 825 meters)       
Approximate total time needed for the excursion:  4 hours
Difficulty: very hard – mountaineering excursion (10 out of 10) – Due to a debatable regulation of the Stelvio National Park, from 2019 onward it is mandatory to be accompanied on this itinerary by an Alpine Guide.
Recommended season: from the end of July to the middle of September
Suitable for rainy days? no
General characteristics of the natural environment: high mountain track with strong exposure and technical passages
Presence of water\fountains on the excursion: yes
Trip on the borders of the Stelvio National Park: yes
Benches on the route: no
Picnic areas on the route: no
Alpine shelters, bars or restaurants along the route: no
Circular route: no (departure and arrival are in two different places)
Back and forth route: no
Pushchair accessible: no
Excursion starting point: II° Cantoniera dello Stelvio   (excursion finishing point: I° Cantoniera)
Geographic coordinates of the starting point: 46°31’07” N – 10°24’07” E  —-   UTM:  32T 607973  –  5152636
Altitude of the starting point: 2177 meters asl             Maximum height reached on the excursion: 2280  meters asl

Introduction

The Campo dei Fiori trail, in a grandiose setting, is the most difficult trail in the whole Bormio area. On this path the hiker can fully experience the fragility of man in the face of the greatness of creation.

Walking on this path, on ledges suspended over the abyss of the Braulio canyon, is a unique and striking experience. Mountaineering skills are required for this itinerary and, due to a debatable regulation that we hope will change soon, accompaniment by an Alpine Guide is mandatory to travel on this route.

In the most technical points, during the summer of 2018, the path was re-equipped by the Stelvio National Park with wire ropes and pig tail eye bolts.

It is advisable to bring a harness with via ferrata kit, 2 HMS locking carabiners for potential abseils with Italian hitch (also called Munter hitch) and a 20-meter length of rope.

Description of the excursion

From the car park in front of the “2nd Casa Cantoniera dello Stelvio”, take the path that leads slightly downhill to the crossing of the Braulio stream on a beautiful wooden footbridge.

With an obvious route, go up the side opposite the Stelvio road and head towards the imposing electricity pylons. When you reach the pylons, continue on a slightly uphill path (at this point, be careful not to be deceived by an inscription on the stone that suggests turning down to the left).

You pass, still slightly uphill, a stone with a marble plaque and continue on the path (which is not always well marked).

From here on, the path has sections equipped with eye bolts in the most dangerous points and, even if not always fully evident, the path still remains logical.

Here the difficulties begin, which will gradually increase and be reinforced by a strong exposure. In case of doubts about your abilities it is suggested not to continue and return to the starting point as from here on any “retreat”, in conditions of panic or excessive stress, could prove difficult and very dangerous.

The route in this central part winds along the suspended ledges of the Val Braulio taking advantage of the only real weak point in the vertical walls of Monte Braulio.

Between various ups and downs and crossings of small valleys, after about forty minutes of walking (1 hour and a half from the parking lot) you reach “Campo dei Fiori”, an otherworldly and comfortable prairie suspended in the void, surrounded by imposing larches literally clinging to the mountain.

Here begins the most technical part of the route.

Aim at the evident stone cairn located in the lower part of the field and from there go straight down and then slightly to the right in the direction of a fallen pine.

You pass under the trunk of the pine and along the path, equipped with pig tail eye bolts and metal ropes, and continue the descent towards the meadow below.

Here it should be noted to pay attention to a point where a “service” metal rope invites you to go towards the valley in the direction of Stelvio. This “incorrect” metal rope is placed a few meters after a pig tail eye bolt and boulders are placed on the path to indicate not to continue towards the metal rope.

From the rope and the bolt you can see another eye bolt placed about ten meters below, vertically. This one can be reached by following the path between the plants. A few meters below we find a section equipped with metal ropes that leads to the crossing of a short channel, always downhill and with forced passage.

Here we take the path again and we reach the “meadow of the trellis” where there are ruins of old buildings. When you reach the ruins, continue flat towards the west in the direction of a hole in the rock, ignoring an obvious and misleading path that leads downwards towards a black pylon.

Along the rocks, the path becomes well marked again and leads to the crossing of a valley characterized by incredible geological formations.

You cross the valley and always on a very evident path equipped with pig tail eye bolts, you go initially towards the west and then towards the east, circumventing the imposing limestone walls in their weak points.

In a few minutes, you descend towards the valley until you reach the Braulio stream where you take the last technical section of the route. Cross the beautiful wooden bridge over the Braulio torrent and on an easy uphill trail you will quickly reach the “1st Casa Cantoniera dello Stelvio”.

Cultural points along the route: the walls of Val Braulio and its evident geological stratigraphies.

Notes

It is not advisable to bring dogs with you as, in addition to moving large stones on the ledges, they are not able to go down the obligatory channel between Campo dei Fiori and the “meadow of the trellis”.

Enjoy your excursion

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