Monte Tamaro – Monte Lema Traverse

Monte Tamaro – Monte Lema Traverse
Alpe Foppa (1527m) – Monte Tamaro (1956m) – Monte Lema (1555m), 13km

A fantastic 5-hour ridge walk with breath-taking panoramic views. Unexpectedly physically challenging!

Today Philippe and I had a different program on our 3rd sunny Ticino day: Philippe is out for flying his model-airplanes at the best flying spot in Ticino, Monte Lema. My program is a ridge hike from Monte Tamaro to Monte Lema and to meet up Philippe there. 

First at the Alpe Foppa (1527m) there is an impressive Santa Maria degli Angeli church. Some photo-taking at the top.

With a relatively steep 400+m up under the intense sun, I arrived at Monte Tamaro (1956m) in one hour or so. It gave me a 360-degree panoramic view of the Lake Maggiore, the Verzasca Valley (where we are staying), Locarno to Bellinzona. In the south, a series of high mountains, even Monta Rosa, is floating above the clouds! 

I am rather new to the region so stayed at the top a looooong time intensely studying the Ticino geography. 

Several hikers were at the top with me but everyone else is heading back the way they came. Only I was heading to Monte Lema : ( The path from there was very steep knee-straining downhill. Once I got 200+m down and some ridge walk I saw a steep uphill ahead of me. 

When I talked to people coming from the opposite direction, I realised that the last cablecar from Monte Lema is to leave at 5 pm. I have another 3h to go and need to hurry up! 

The sun was intense and it was hazy and hot. After I made a short stop at the unmanned hut for a drink and chatted with another Italian hiker, the path went through some rocky area which was tiring! I saw the cablecar building far on the top of another mountain. Getting close, I realised that I need to go down quite a bit and go up again!  I was telling myself, “you must be joking!” But I had no other choice but to go on. Otherwise, no cablecar means another one hour or so on foot to the bottom of the mountain : ((

By the time I reached up and met Philippe who had a good day of flying , I was exhausted. I underestimated this journey as an easy ridge walk, but it had serious ups and downs (afterwards I checked and it was around 1000+m up and 1000+m down in total). 

The cablecar transported us 1000+m down comfortably, while I was chatting with Philippe’s model airplane buddies…. 

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