The Resegone di Lecco is a mountain with a serrated peak that resembles a saw. It is from this peak that the mountain takes its name; Resegon means "great saw" in the local dialect.
It appears in Italian art and literature and anyone who has studied the work of Manzoni will recognise it from the opening of his famous novel, The Betrothed. I studied this novel during my second year at university and was delighted to recognise the Resegone from Mazoni's description on one of my first commutes to work during my time as an Erasmus student in the Milan and Monza areas.
I spent an entire year observing this beautiful and iconic mountain through my train window and from a distance; in April, we decided to go and climb it.
We were lucky to choose one of those crisp and perfectly clear days. The sun warmed the lower grounds as we parked the car, with the air quickly shedding its velvety warmth for the sharp coolness of mountain air as we slipped upwards in the cable car. The car travelled up across steep hillsides, directly towards an imposing cliff face where it suddenly swooped upwards and deposited us at the top.
Except, it wasn't quite the top. We still had a lot of climbing to do.
As we made our way up, I began to remember everything I hate about hiking. The burning thighs, the shortness of breath, that frustrating dreamlike feeling of putting so much effort in with so little movement to show for it. My fingers swelled and my throat gasped for water and more than a couple of times, I plonked myself down on a rock and moaned about not wanting to go any further.
But of course, I kept going. Because then I remembered everything I love about hiking. The soaring views, the incredible sense of achievement, the isolation and the absorption into nature.
Once we had reached the highest point of our walk, we sat and enjoyed our apples (yes I know, I should have taken biscuits) with the birds and the mountain goats as well as a few other hikers sitting outside the closed rifugio. If you can catch these little boltholes when they're open, they are absolutely heavenly and will often serve up copious quantities of cheese and carb. They are also the most incredible resting places and have unbeatable views that no city restaurant will ever be able to compete with.
The only thing that was less than ideal was the toilet situation which was this little cabin (above) perched upon the edge of a precipice and a plumbing system that was evidently not functioning correctly. I chose to have a rather exhibitionist wee outside instead.
On the other side of the peak, the winter snow was still holding fort. Michele can walk across snow like its concrete but I am an absolute catastrophe when it comes to slippery stuff. I kept falling over, absolutely soaking my trousers. The snow completely covered the path, which slowly snaked downwards diagonally across the mountain.
In the end, I gave up and decided to slide down the snow to a narrow ledge of bare rock where I would be able to walk without slipping. My bum was already wet right? What else could go wrong?
It turns out that snow is a lot "slidier" than I'd realised and I promptly found myself hurtling towards the edge. At first I laughed as I enjoyed the slide. Then I began to scream "CATCH MEEEE" at poor Michele who luckily grabbed me just before I disappeared over the side of the mountain...
Perhaps it's time to book a skiing holiday so I can learn what snow is and, you know, don't send myself flying to my death next time I need to cross some snow...
I am pleased to report that I survived the descent intact (something that I don't have a wonderful track record of) and am alive and well. I have since gone hiking without incident and am slowly rebuilding my confidence...
A gorgeous day with gorgeous views. We finished off with a glass of prosecco for me and beer for him at the little chalet restaurant back at the cable car station before heading down to the carpark. Is there really any better way to spend a day?