Pecetto to Burky / Belvedere / Rifugio Zamboni e Zappa (Macugnaga)

Summer walk. Fatigue level: moderate.

Pecetto to Burky, Burky to Belvedere, Belvedere to Rifugio Zamboni e Zappa

Pecetto is the furthest most hamlet (frazione) of Macugnaga and sits at the very foot of Monte Rosa. At Pecetto you can take the chair-lift up to the glacier for some of the finest summer mountain walks anywhere in the world.

It is possible to walk the entire route from Pecetto to the Rifugio and avoid the chair-lift altogether, though you would need to set out relatively early. This is a popular destination for hikers in the summer. The chair-lift ride is itself well worth doing, being both relaxing and aweinspiring. There are two separate chair-lifts, the first to Burky then up to Belvedere, and you can choose a ticket to take you half way, all the way, one way or return. This means you can choose to walk part way, up or down - it's a nice, flexible option.

zamboni_walkOnce you reach the end of the second run at Belvedere, take a very short walk up from the chair-lift station until you are alongside the path to the restaurant/bar on your left. The main footpath runs ahead of you and up but you will see a secondary footpath immediately to your right (there is a short motorised ski pull here). It's a little steep but then flattens out, and it's only a very short way to the edge of the glacier. You might never know it if we didn't mention it!  In the summer you will hear the ice cracking - it can send a bit of a shiver down your spine!

If you are a little more intrepid, follow the main footpath up towards the bulk of the glacier. Over the years the glacier here has shrunk a great deal but it's still a wonderful natural phenomena. It can be tricky to see what is ice and what is stone, and occasionally crevaces will open up that have to be spanned with ladders. So, a sensible pair of walking shoes or trainers is a must!

Although you do need to walk across part of the ice, the big majority of the walk is on firm ground. To the right shows part of the walk, along a ridge that eventually reaches the Rifugio Zamboni. We are far from being true hikers but we don't find the walk to be too difficult. That said, keep an eye on the weather. We wouldn't recommend doing the walk if it's overcast as the clouds can drop rapidly, enveloping you in fog. And besides, it's just so much nicer when the sun is on your back and the sky is a deep blue!

Give yourself an hour or so to walk along the ridge (it really depends how fast a hiker you are - we are typical 'strollers' but see hikers going passed us at some speed!) and then reward yourself with a visit to the "Rifugio Zambone e Zappa" and try their pasta, risotto or local polenta dishes, or just a glass of warming grappa or the locally produced Genepy or Genzianella.

Beyond the Rifugio you can follow the footpath, usually passed grazing mountain cows with that wonderful cow bell sound ringing out, until (after about 30-40 minutes of walking) you reach an idillic lake. There are infact two lakes, one a little lower and to the right, so make sure you continue to the very end of the footpath, and all will then be revealed!


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