Glacial immersion

An immersion in the glacial troughs of the Apennine

September 19, 2019

Should nature be a knowledge or rather a sensorial experience ?
I have to confess: I walked many tens of time through the glacial troughs of the Apennine. In the beginning I had a merely knowledge approach, a bit detached and cool-hearted; nevertheless, these valleys  were there since tens of centuries, and refused speaking to me.  Then, Ok, I knew what these rounded valleys were, but the sensorial part, the one making feel ourselves inside things, started coming to the surface. Gradually, almost as a miracle, I felt really immersed in these places, and started having different sight and better perception of them.

A few days ago, starting from Civago, I took a path going to a glacial trough  where I had never been before, to pass della Volpe (1); I enjoyed this ascent very much so, since the weather was encouraging me, I descended along another path, from pass Vallestrina (2), then up again, through another U-shaped valley, to Passone (3).

From there I started watching the ridge in front of me, with plenty of other glacial circles (4, 5, as examples, but they were many more): small, bigger, of different generations.

I met horses (6), grazing on a glacial step; I tried to tell them of this fact, but they watched me somewhat puzzled… well, the sensorial part was definitely dominant for them.

Further on, I also realised to be walking along a tiny relict glacial step (7); but it was already a purely sensorial perception, simply a different ground shape on which I was walking. Looking up, I saw this forested valley on the sides of mount Giovarello (magnified in 8); it is more difficult to notice these valleys, when they are now coated with forest; but it came very easy to recognise its shape; from another point of view, I realised that this big circle in reality contained three smaller ones (9).

In another place along my way, I also saw a rhododendron (10) and thought about its definition of “glacial relict”. And he replied to me: “A relict is you!” This reply finally convinced me that it is better to leave space to the sensorial dimension, that is the only one progressively leading to a complete nature immersion, at the same level with all the other beings. But this require time, patience and a bit of knowledge, without overdoing.

Glacial immersion. Filippo D’Antuono. All rights reserve

1. The first glacial trough, between mont Ravino and Alpe di Vallestrina

3. The third trough, ascending to Passone

5. Another one, again along the same ridge

7. Walking along a tiny glacial step, with mount Giovarello in the background

9. That, indeed, contains three smaller troughs

2. The second trough, below pass Vallestrina

4. One of the troughs of the ridge between  mount Prado and pass Bocca di Massa

&. Horses grazing on the glacial step of Alpe di Valelstrina

8. And here is the forested glacial trough of mount Giovarello

10. And finally the rhododendron