Dressing for Success – At High Altitude

Now this is not about how pretty to look, or to dress yourself in the latest fashions when you are heading for your summit. It is about how to dress correctly so that you are not too cold, or too hot for that matter on high altitude treks.

1) Layer, Layer, Layer

The single most important thing about dressing for the cold is to layer your clothing. Wearing a thermal vest and then throwing a thick jersey is not going to keep your warm and this is where many people go wrong. Layer, layer, layer, means to generally go with three layers; a base layer, mid and outer layer. Start with a good thermal base layer. It must not be too tight that it restricts movement but at the same time, must not be loose-fitting. On top of that goes a long sleeve soft-shell zip up. Your other layer would be a warm jacket, which could be down depending on the temperatures you are going to, or a windproof, waterproof zip up jacket. Layering also needs to be done on hands and feet, one pair of thin liner socks plus hiking socks, and on your hand, thin liner gloves and thicket outer gloves. Mits are the best.

2) Don’t overdress

As strange as it may sound after reading about all the layers, overdressing so that you are too warm is problem. If your body is too warm, your natural thermostat will kick in and your body will try to cool you down a bit, with the inevitable result that you will feel cold and pile on more clothing. It is like drinking tea on a hot day – it actually cools you down.

3) Zip up

Zips on jackets, fleece and softshells is important, as they allow you to “unzip” if you need to cool down a bit, rather than pull off a later.

4) Not too tight

A lot of people make the mistake of having their clothing too tight that there is not enough room for free movement. You really need the air between the layers to warm up. If you gloves and socks are too tight, it will also cut off your circulation which is the last thing you want.

5) Avoid Cotton

Cotton is lovely in the warm summer months, but is not functional when it comes to hiking at high altitude. Cotton t-shirts absorb moisture, causing your body to cool down. As the evening approaches and temperatures drop, you will quickly find yourself clammy and cold making it harder for your body to warm up. Always buy wickable clothing that moves the moisture away from the body.

The Arroscia Valley

The Arroscia valley is between Piedmont and Liguria and is one of the most famous in Liguria. The valley is formed by many countries: Pieve di Teco, main town of the Arroscia valley, is a trade center always very important. Known over the years for its paper mill and tanneries (renowned for their mountain shoes), Pieve di Teco associates these activities with an exquisite production of cheeses and wines (Dolcetto and Pigato), as well as a typical bran bread oven cooked with wood. The heart of the medieval village is in Corso Ponzoni, the street sided by large porticoes, in which the handicraft stores run in alternation with the sculptured portals of the ancient palaces. Slightly farther on, the Augustinian convent (1478) encloses an evocative cloister with octagonal columns. The grandiose collegiate of San Giovanni Battista is, instead, an art gallery with its masters paintings. In the plain from the town, along the river Arroscia, there is an interesting complex formed by an oil mill, a bridge of medieval origin and the Largo dellaForca, a placed destined in the old days to capital executions. Most remarkable local gastronomy specialties are “focacce” vegetable pies and stuffed codfish. At a short distance from Pieve, there is the rural village of Cenova, famous since the Middle Ages for is stone processing, and Rezzo with the remains of its old castle, its woods and its fresh water fish specialties. Going up the mountain, through chestnut groves and then beech woods, one reaches the panoramic pass of the Teglia, the passage towards the nearby Argentina valley.

After leaving Pieve di Teco, going up the Colle di Nava, the road ascends passing through hard rocks and beech woods, towards the upper Arroscia valley in an enchanting succession of alpine landscapes, scattered by villages rich of history and tradition. The air becomes gradually thinner and more biting. Here, at a short distance from the sea, in the bordering territory between Liguria and Piedmont, Italy and France, covered with snow in winter and cool in summer, the vacationer, tired of the lively noise of the coast, is offered an overwhelming scenery and silence. Furthermore, in summertime, the blooming lavender gives an intense light blue color to the slopes, dominated by a suggestive system of fortresses. Crossroad of the pass is Nava, famous also for its production of excellent honey. From here a panoramic road with lush vegetation runs on the divide between Tanaro and Arroscia to reach the skiing center of Monesi. Following this itinerary one meets also the town of San Bernardo di Mendatica, wherefrom a formerly military road, through the Garezzo pass, continues as far as Mount Saccarello (on the top at 2,200 m the monument to the Redeemer). All the localities of the valley, anyhow, are worth visiting: Cosiod’Arroscia is an alpine village among the most interesting ones of the upper valley, with its clear stone architecture, covered passageways and narrow shady alleys; Pornassio, with the hamlets Case Rosse, Ponti, Villa and San Luigi, situated on the old “Strada del Sale” (Salt road) supply the best sampling of the renowned Ormeasco and Schiacchetra wines.

Once here, a stop must be made at the sixteenth century castle and the parish church of San Dalmazzo, with its romanesque bell tower and its fifteenth century frontal, lunette frescoed and polyptych by Giovanni Canavesio. Not too far away, on a smooth slope, stands Mendatica, dominated by the grandiose parish church. From its center, taking a steep mule track, one can reach the small church of Santa Margherita, located on a rocky spur over a precipice. Furthermore, one must not give up making an excursion that takes a path through beech and maple woods, from Mendatica to the water falls of Arroscia, to admire in spring the suggestive and extraordinary show of the sources of the river in flood. At last, at MontegrossoPian Latte, the cusp of the bell tower of the Assunta church, with its brick arches on rustic stones, is the counterpoise to the eighteenth century church of San Biagio, designed and realized by Giacomo Filippo Marvaldi.

Some Travel Myths That We Need To Leave Behind Soon

It’s not wrong to claim that we are surrounded by a world of travel myths. They stop us from building the courage and making our travel dreams come true. Most of these are complete devoid of any logic and we still do not question them. Travel myths can be very absurd.

Here are some commonly believed travel myths that we must stop believing in soon.

1. Unaffordable Costs

A lot of us drop our travel plans because we believe it is too expensive to travel the world. It’s true that you will have to face travel costs, but they don’t have to be abnormal for the trip to be a successful one. This is where careful planning plays a major role. Sadly, a lot of travelers do not realize it and end up giving up on their travel plans. Travel can be very expensive to plan if it’s not done right.

There are plenty of ways you can save on your trip. From booking early to opting for budgeted airlines, there is a lot you can do to enjoy a budgeted break.

2. Unsafe World

Here is another reason why some people fail to travel. The television and newspaper are full of depressing news about how unsafe the world has become. This plays around with the mind and travelers think it is just not safe to travel around the globe.

The destination you travel to can be very unsafe for you. However, that goes for all the places on this planet; even your hometown. There are several ways through which you can ensure that you are safe and sound. Firstly, if you are traveling alone ensure that someone from back home knows about all your travel plans. At the new destination, act street smart and avoid roaming out and about alone.

3. Too Less Time

This is one of the most common reasons for people not to travel. They believe they can’t let their travel dreams come true because they simply have no time for it. Work commitments can often make them delay their travel plans. If you are one of those, you are not alone there.

However, let’s face the truth. It is very easy to plan a break and you certainly don’t need a lot of time. Simply a weekend getaway can be ideal for making memories and taking a break from the same old routine. You just need to plan sensibly.

4. Shopping at the Airport

Some people never buy anything when they travel to a new destination and wait to get to their airport. This is because duty free shopping is considered the cheapest one out there. However, it doesn’t always work out to be the cheapest. To indulge in the duty free shopping, you must know the prices well because some things turn out to be costlier at the airport. Similarly, not all airports have the same pricing.