Friday, November 16, 2012

Monte Jouf hike

I was planning to ride to Monte Rest today, but thought I'd check the news first to see if any roads were closed from landslides, bridges washed away, etc.  Instead I found a news item about rampaging baby bears in the mountains above Maniago.  Intrigued, I decided to head up Monte Jouf to search for bears.

It's possible to climb Monte Jouf with a mountain bike but I don't have one so I hiked it instead.  I drove up to the high point of the paved road from Maniagolibero, parked and set off.  I hiked up the first couple of switchbacks (under construction) then headed up the Club Alpino Italiano (CAI) trail toward the summit.  Great trail through beautiful forest, and well-marked though I managed to wander off course anyway.  I couldn't find any of the red & white trail marks on trees or rocks.  No harm done, I found my way back and continued.  The trail gradually became steeper, then even steeper, and again I lost sight of any trail markings.  I rested a moment before heading back down to look for the trail, when I heard a clattering sound above me.   Peering through the tree limbs I caught sight of an elderly man rapidly descending this steep slope with trekking poles.  He seemed to be floating along, barely touching the leaf-cover and loose stones with his feet but rhythmically stabbing at the ground to left and right to keep from tumbling.  I asked him if this was the way to the summit and he asked if I was from Deutschland (I get that a lot) then said the trail led to a "gross haus" and promised it was only 5 minutes away.  I figured at my speed it would take 15, but it ended up being 30.   

Beautiful up here, the forest abruptly ends and it's rolling grassland.  Great views in all directions.  I wandered around awhile but never sighted the bears.   Then it was time to head down and I still couldn't find the CAI trail so I headed down the dirt road.  This would be a fun descent on a mountain bike, but on foot it was quite long.  I wished I had a pair of those trekking poles and could glide down the steep footpath like the old fellow.

Pillows of alpine grass foreground, with Alpi Giulie to northeast

Malga Jouf (the "gross haus") with barn for hay and livestock

Monte Raut towering over Pala Barzana

Remnant of antique teleferica, a ski-lift for cargo used in mountains 


1 comment:

  1. Another example of an ingenious use of a rear axle from an old car or truck. Beautiful pictures as usual!