Corno Grande of Gran Sasso d’Italia: an amazing mountain in the middle plateau Campo Imperatore (Abruzzo, Italy) that, due to its 2912m o.s.l., is widely known as the King of Apennines.
Davide, my 8 years old son, has a globe on his bedside table. Every evening, before falling asleep, he spends some time studying it, looking for places, cities, mountains or countries and dreaming “adventures” and “explorations” to do together.

For some months now, on the top of his bucket list he has “hiking to the summit of Gran Sasso”. Eventually, at the end of July, some spare time in the weekend and favorable weather forecasts allowed for the adventure to take off.

On Saturday, just after lunch, we loaded the car with all the gear and started our three hours trip to plateau Campo Imperatore.

 

 

The lunar landscape of this places always deserves a couple of stops along the way.

 

 

Finally, in late afternoon: here is the mountain.

 

 

We left the car in the parking near the observatory, and loaded the backpacks, we started the hike to Monte Portella. A short stop at Duca degli Abruzzi hut and back out looking for a place to setup our camp.

 

 

With the camp ready, we seated on a stone admiring the wonderful sunset.

 

 

The low light pollution in this area allows you to admire an amazing starry sky.

 

 

On Sunday, we got up at first light of dawn and settled to watch the world around us waking up: mists that dwindle, the peaks tinged with orange and, finally, the sun that rises and starts to warm us.

 

 

The sky was clear and the forecasts announced a warm day, so we had a fast breakfast and then we started the hike to the summit trying to complete the hardest part of the track in shade.

The Via Normale al Corno Grande is not technically hard, so we managed to reach the top of the mountain in a few hours.

Davide is visibly satisfied with the performance and it seems he is already dreaming the next adventure…