In the cool of the night we begin our steep climb at the Gampenpass/Passo Palade and ascend to the peak of Laugenspitze/Monte Luco where we will experience the first rays of the sun. We will probably be the only hikers turning on their head torches at 4 a.m. and heading up the mountain.
Our steps on the stony soil are the only sounds which disturb the stillness of the night. We continue to gain height and soon reach the Laugenalm which still lies in darkness. Shortly beyond the farmstead, above the tree line, we ascend through meadows and alpine pastures, and soon gain the ridge.
The mountain landscape and the lower-lying Laugensee/Lago di Luco are still hidden by the darkness of the night. We hike along the ridge, across rugged but unchallenging terrain, to the peak of the Laugenspitze.
On the summit it is very cold. A gulp of tea warms us up from inside. Then we gaze to the east in anticipation of the magic of morning. The sky gradually lightens and the narrow strips of cloud take on the colours orange and golden yellow. It is almost as if the world were being created once again.
After a long rest we descend via the same path. Perhaps there is still time for a great breakfast at the Laugenalm?
Route rating/description: mountain hike
Mountain range: Ultner Berge/Cresta Val d’Ultimo
Length: approx. 8 km
Time: 5 hours
Highest point: 2433 m
Elevation gain: 900 m
Ideal time of year: sunrise walks best in mid-summer