Passo del Bernina to Rifugio Val Viola
July 1, 2007 After completing my hike from Ospizio Bernina to Sargans I returned to the shores of Lago Bernina at Ospizio Bernina and started my hike toward Bormio and Giogo della Stelvio. I left Pontresina on the 8:00a train and reached Ospizio Bernina station (2253m – 7392ft) at 8:40a. It was only about a mile hike up through open grass and boulders to Bernina Pass (2323m – 7621ft) (9:00a). From the pass the trail descended down through more grass and boulder strewn alps past several small farms and through short stretches of forest into the Val Lagune. At the bottom of the valley the trail intersected the main road over Bernina Pass at La Rosa (1870m – 6135ft) (10:30a). The trail crossed the road and continued for a short distance down valley alongside the Poschiavino River before turning east, up a side valley toward the Rifugio Saoseo.
The hike up the valley to the hut was along a road through pastureland and forest rising gradually to the Rifugio Saoseo (1985m – 6512ft) (11:55a). Here I took a break and had lunch. After lunch I started up the trail for the Passo di Val Viola (the Swiss/Italian border). The trail wound its way up through larch groves and alpinrose boulder gardens, crossing several small streams before reaching Passo di Val Viola (2528m – 8294ft) (2:05p). It was but a short hike down from the pass to the Rifugio Val Viola (2314m – 7592ft) (2:30p). I met some mountain bikers from Austria at the rifugio and we enjoyed an evening of dinner, wine and grappa before turning in at 10:00p.