Exploring the Orsomarso mountain range

For this summer we had planned to do some ‘reconnaissance’ in the little frequented Orsomarso mountain range, part of the Pollino National Park and situated only about 30 kilometers to the southwest from the somewhat higher peaks forming the actual Pollino massif. Since high resolution maps of this rather vast area is hard to find – let alone a tour map – we would have to rely on the good old military maps that had been drawn up by the IGMI in the late 50s.

Visiting these truly remote spots and the almost untouched landscape of this Mediterranean jungle (no exaggeration!) is a very particular experience. There are only a few signposted trails. However, as we had to learn, it is highly recommendable to study the map carefully before choosing a direction. Narrow gorges with extremely steep lateral rock walls and hidious grass slopes – also with an inclination up to 70 degrees, and more – look awe-inspiring and should not be underestimated. Highly frangible rocks, thick and pricky vegetation, overgrown scree and knife-edge ridges are anything but an easy playground. In order to move around it is imperative to find (and stick to) the ancient trails which form a hidden maze in the otherwise almost impenetrable underbrush of these primeval forests.

Here below I would like to share a few impressions from our two short trips. For the first one we took to the natural reserve of the wild and beautiful Argentino torrent. The second consisted of a hike up the even wilder valley of the Rosa torrent and a visit to the highest peak of the whole range, the impressive Cozzo del Pellegrino (1,987m).