What is the best season for mountain excursions?
A difficult question which, in my opinion, presupposes not a single answer! Precisely for this reason I thought of putting down on paper a whole series of considerations on what the mountain can offer the hiker over the four seasons.
Spring, summer, autumn, winter every season is good for walking in the mountains! Nature will not fail to thrill you with its slow change. Only by attending the trails throughout the year can you perceive those subtle differences that mark the passage from one season to another. This passage almost always takes place gently and manifests itself with nuances. The thing that I find most intriguing is the one that every day is good to be amazed by the small details that announce the arrival or the end of a new season.
The noise of the first snowflakes falling on the dry leaf, the gurgling of the stream that regains strength after a long winter, the marmots that play to chase each other under the sole lion, the golden needles of the larches in autumn are just some of the situations you can live walking in the mountains all year round.
Every season is the best for mountain hikes!
In spring the flora and fauna awaken. However, there may still be plenty of snow at high altitude! Even if we stay at low altitude my advice is to pay particular attention to the tongues of hard snow (especially at the beginning of spring) which often interrupt the paths near canals or streams. The days are now quite long so it is already possible to plan excursions of a certain duration even if the mountain refuges are normally still closed (generally opening in late spring from early June onwards). Almost always, at least the first part of spring is characterized by the dynamism of the weather: beautiful and warm days alternate very quickly with cold and windy days with rainy days with frequent showers. It is often difficult for meteorologists to make accurate and detailed forecasts.
Summer time for long hikes and treks for several days! This season we have the entire hiking heritage and maximum availability of daylight hours available! Even the most elevated sites are in fact (almost always) free from snow and shelters invite you to take a break. The only drawback is the sun, which is often too strong, which could sometimes limit the pleasure of the trip and in extreme cases increase the danger of heat stroke. In these cases it is better to walk in the early hours of the day. Special attention must be paid to heat storms, short but violent phenomena (with lightning) that are difficult to predict.
Autumn is perhaps the best season for walking in the mountains. It is true that the days are short and that the shelters are closed but the atmosphere of tranquility and relaxation that one breathes while wandering through paths in this period is something unique and precious. How unique are the colors of which the mountain is tinged, colors that often last a few days. Generally there are many periods of stable weather and with the passing of the days the risk of heat storms typical of the summer period drops considerably. The heat when there is is much more bearable and this leads to attend more willingly also the medium and low mountain range that is often snubbed for the high temperatures in the summer season. The much drier air makes the landscapes and contours of the mountains more defined, giving incredible light effects and strong contrasts.
Winter excursions have their own particular charm. This is, in my opinion, the best time to visit the low mountain paths, finally bare from vegetation and free from tall grasses. The snow only occasionally goes below 700-800 meters and even if it happens its stay is limited to a few days. Furthermore, the risk of ticks is very small compared to spring and summer and therefore you can move with more ease and with less concern to find these animals on your way! If instead we want to go higher to enjoy the silences and the magic of the snow we must do it with knowledge of the facts and with the necessary preparation and experience. Fundamental to finding your way in a snowy environment is knowing how to master the map and the compass well since the markings of the paths are much less obvious (most of them remain under the snow) and last but not least it is necessary to know and know how to evaluate the dangers of the winter mountains.
In short, all the seasons are good for walking in the mountains and each in its own way is always special. And then walking is cheap and brings great benefits to the body and mind. It is an activity that does not allow excuses because you can do it with the sun, with the rain and in all seasons!
In every season, as a mountain guide, I propose excursions and trekking for all tastes with a common denominator: always “without stress”.