Gran Sasso Hiking Torri di Casanova:
The Gran Sasso Hiking Torri di Casanova hiking (2369 mts) is one of the most fascinating classical itineraries during the summer season on the Gran Sasso mountain range and requires a good amount of training and adequate safety equipment for the most exposed tracts. Taking advantage of the shadow projected on the south side, we decided to leave just before dawn to avoid the summer sun during the ascent.
The trail starts from Campo Imperatore Plateau and proceeds towards the Mt.Prena group, swinging through the glacial moraines until reaching the huge canyon down by the mountain. Just a small aqueduct marks the beginning of the path within a very long rock channel digged by rainfalls.
The grassy slopes soon leave the place to the naked rock and the path becomes more and more challenging in the rise; The limestone rock is very fragile in this section and requires a great attention in the selection of the supports but i can be easily overcome with a bit of patience. No is the time to wear the protective helmet, proceeding in a row it is always easy for falling stones to hit back in direction of those who follow.
Arrived finally on the crest to the west of the Towers around 2000mts we can take a look back at the magnificent Mt Corno Grande and the wide landscape of the Abruzzo coast and take a breath! Now we need to wear the harness for the equipped trails if we want to move toward the two peaks by numerous steel staircases and cables that allow you to overcome the most exposed parts in total safety.
The ascent is fun and offers spectacular views of the surrounding peaks (Mt.Prena and Mt.Infornace) and Campo Imperatore Plateau, the last stretch is almost vertical up to the first tower but not too technical; After reaching the first peak you have to go back down from a vertical wall with a safety rope and finally reach the saddle between the two peaks known as the Gran Sasso Hiking Torri di Casanova (Casanova Towers).
The second peak is much easier to reach from here, the last meters are made along a narrow trail to the summit. It's 4 hours since we started climbing and the sun high on the horizon tells us it's time to start the descent. From the summit a path passes under a rock wall to the East in the direction of the crests of Mt.Infornace, this section is really panoramic and leads to the fork from which the trail goes downhill and leads to the canyon and the plain of Campo Imperatore.
The descent is quick but challenging, given the steep slope and screes here and there. Arriving down in the plain we have to pass through a location made famous by numerous spaghetti western movies such as "They Call Me Trinity" and soon we understand the reason of this choice: tiredness, scorching air, and sandy ground make the last few kilometers to the car really hard to do.. For whom not expert of the place is always reccomanded to contact local Alpine guides and consider the Meteomont service for major safety!