Join a group of NOLS grads and instructors for a week of spectacular hiking in the Italian Alps as we trek between "rifugios" (small, hostel-style lodgings) during the high peak's late summer. This challenging trip hopscotches around Monte Rosa (15,203’) and the Matterhorn glacier and into Switzerland.
This robust route requires comfort with airy trails, and nimble footwork.
Connecting our string of rifugios gives us the chance to savor Italian cuisine and culture while mixing with other, mostly European travelers, in a dorm-style setting. Sleeping and dining (dinner and breakfasts) in the rifugios allows us to considerably lighten our packs for our daily hikes (average move is ~6 miles, plus elevation changes) among the stunning spires, valleys, ridges and peaks of northern Italy along its border with Switzerland.
The trip starts and ends in the ancient, cobble-stoned central section of Turin. Participants can fly in and out of Turin, Milan or other area cities— consider staying extra days on either end of the trip to explore the sights of northern Italy.
As a group from Turin, we will take a series of train, shuttle and cable car rides to and from our "roadheads" in the mountains.
The trip spends 7-nights in the "field" at rifugios, and 8-days hiking as well as a hotel night on either end in historic Turin. Unlike a standard NOLS expedition, we won't carry cook gear, or heavy rations—even pads and sleeping bags are not needed at the rifugios—but we'll do "real" trail hiking up and down varied and often steep trails with our backpacks.
This trip will re-acquaint you with NOLS backpacking techniques in a convivial, relaxing and visually stunning location. Instruction is geared to your interests, with optional walk-up peaks, Italian "word(s) of the day," time for journal-writing and photography, and more.
*Hut living means cooked meals and light packs, but long trail days include steep up and down hiking.