‘Sintineddi’ .. and the lofty solitude of mountains

LichtSchattenSucher Bavella

 

Most certainly one of the first and most imposing, majestic sights upon arrival on this island. Their overall puissance can be sensed most intensely, it’s a sentiment you carry around with you too, escorting in some ways, and vigilant – personally, I have always felt their complicity and protection, which is not the way with everybody, I admit, but such sincere safeguard is, in my opinion, quite overwhelming always.

But, isn’t  the island an eminence itself in the middle of the sea? certes – with around 1700 summits, going from 300-2710m, an authentic chain of peaks, one could say.

Composed of granite mostly, and sometimes slate, with the sovereign Monte Cinto (2710m) being literally ‘the roof of the island’ – an amazing remark here too, it is only 20km from the sea …

A succession of melodious names can be attributed to these wonders:
Paglia Orba, Monte Rotondo, Monte d’Oro, Capu Tafanatu, Monte Renoso, Punta di A capella, Monte Incudine and the needles of Bavella – Punta di a Vacca Morta or Omo di Cagna and l’Ospédale ..

With 8 main massifs, of which 4 actually exceed 2000m:

Tenda (Monte Asto: 1533m), San Pedrone (1766m), Cinto (2710m), Rotondo (2625m), which also possesses several glacial lakes. Renoso (2357m) – and is the highest peak south of the island. Incudine – (the needles of Bavella, 2136m, which has limestone surfacing in some parts). Ospédale (1381m Monte Calvo) – Cagna (Punta d’Ovace 1339m) – Capu Tafanatu (2343m). Up in the Cap Corse, the Monte Stello would be the highest with 1307m, and just imagine, from San Pedrone, you can see the Cap Corse and literally discover/admire the chestnut forests in the Castagniccia!

Naturally enough, the highest summits are continually swept by fierce winds, and most of them are rugged and irregular. Moisture is omnipresent, thus leading to many rivers and lakes, moss and marsh. A must stop would be the Pozzines, exquisite greenery and nature thriving within invigorating, but moderate ventilation!

As you can imagine, this is just paradise for all hikers/trekkers, keeping in mind that the west coast is certainly the most mountainous region, apart from those in the centre of the island, and these are continually linked with cascades and profound gorges and the imposing ‘maquis’; lavender, gorse, heather rosemary and rock roses – moulded through bristle bushes.

Cairns (assemblage of stones) can be frequently spotted, they are delightful, original and of course, helpful.

Now, our main ‘sintineddi’ (Monte Cinto, Rotondo, d’Oro and Renoso) are indeed connected and you can learn more about this challenging trail from one of my previous posts:  the notorious GR20 – a small reminder as to its being one of Europe’s most arduous treks …

I may add, historical sites can also be discovered amidst these peaks, and here I think of the Niolo, a ‘plateau’ exhibiting neolithic, megalithic and iron ages – even through/after the Middle Ages.
I have myself tested some of these peaks, and they are demanding in every way, and it is very important to be correctly prepared for this adventure in every way – avoiding any type of storm, needless to say.

Sensations, emotions, desires, presence but also lofty solitude – at times, swimming in natural pools too, all of which complete/form these visions. The very word ‘sintineddi’ (Corsican for mountains), appears far more attractive to me personally, and my choice lies here.

Of course, I realise I have supplied many heights here, quite mind-boggling in fact, but, we are on a ‘higher’ level here too, aren’t we … and as Greg Child said “somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit, is the answer to the mystery – why we climb ..”

Photo credit: LichtSchattenSucher © the needles of Bavella

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