Cross-country skiing around the Menta Lake


Technical data

Sport: cross country skiing

Difficulty: easy

Periodo: February

Municipality: Roccaforte del Greco

Locality: Scapolella

Route: circular

Lunghezza: 8.7 kilometres

Elevation difference: 52 metres

Maximum altitude: 1,449 metres above sea level

This is an easy itinerary, on a level and full of characteristic features; all the elements of winter like snow and ice are concentrated in the few kilometres on the most beautiful lake shore of the Aspromonte area.

Arriving by car

From the SS 183 take the road leading up to Montalto and follow the signs for the dam [diga, in Italian] on the river Menta. After about 4 kilometres you come to a junction where you keep right (Tre Limiti locality). After another 7 kilometres the road ends at the building housing the dam’s overseer’s office. Here you may leave your car. You should, however, inform the overseer of your intentions.

Although the road that leads to the dam is usually cleared of snow, it is advisable to have chains on board or avail of a SUV.

The circuit

Considered one of the easiest routes for practicing overland with skiing, you should proceed in a clockwise direction so as to keep the lake on your right all the time. Make sure you enjoy the panoramic views and the rays of the sun reflected on the water seen from every angle. The effect of the ice, that in the winter covers the western part of the lake near the stream that feeds it, is unique. Following the course of the Menta, halfway through your excursion, you will come across the circuit’s only uphill stretch with a very slight elevation difference. First-timers are recommended to truly enjoy the evocative view of the lake covered by a slender sheet of ice on the surface that resonates constantly as the ice cracks. The tour ends at the gate leading to the dam which you can kindly ask the caretaker to open so that you may return to your car.

Source: Guida Naturalistica della Calabria Greca– Alfonso Picone – Rubbettino Editore – Collana Parco Culturale della Calabria Greca.

Text and photos by Demy D’Arrigo.


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