Mattmark to the Monte Moro Pass

We took the bus to the Mattmark Dam and then walked along the construction road on the west side of the lake going through a tunnel. 

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The Mattmark Stausee from Tälliboden. The two paths on either side of the lake can be seen.

Looking down to the lake from above Tälliboden.

At Tälliboden (2229m) the path to the Monte Mora Pass begins to climb, first gently over meadow and then after a junction with a path off to the east it heads straight for the rocky flanks of the mountainside and goes almost in a straight line up to the pass. 

The path heads straight for, and then up, the rocky ridge on the right. The pass is not visible from this point.

The path dates back to the Middle Ages and at one stage was a major trading route. The gradients are not particularly steep and in places the path goes up a staircase of flat stones. 

The upper part of the path to the Monte Moro Pass is over rock slabs and boulders. 

The statue at the summit is just visible in the right hand photo.

In others it passes over gently sloping rock slabs. However, closer to the pass it crosses boulder fields with some quite awkward places to negotiate, especially if you are small. There were a few pockets of snow/ice left even after weeks of hot weather. On reaching the pass (2868m) it is clear that the border has been passed because the signs change to the Italian style, which is totally different to Swiss signposting. There are extensive views into Italy with Monte Rosa facing you. We were reasonably fortunate in that only the summit was hidden by cloud. Frequently, the whole of the face of the mountain is hidden by cloud in the valley. 

Monte Rosa, across the valley and with the summit obscured by cloud, from the Monte Moro Pass looking down into Italy

There is a mountain hut and restaurant just below the pass on the Italian side, the Rifugio Citta di Mainate and a cable car down to Macugnaga at only 1195m. We decided not to go down to the restaurant as the weather was deteriorating slightly with a little rain and clouds building up for a thunderstorm.

  The real feature of the pass, however, is the enormous golden statue of the Virgin Mary. The plinth on which it is built can be seen from the Mattmark Dam, whilst the figure appears to lean forward with arms outstretched towards the mountains.  

The statue of the Blessed Virgin at Monte Moro.

  We descended to Tälliboden and then walked along the path on the east side of the lakes. This gives dramatic views of the Strahlhorn and Fluchthorn and their glaciers. Finally we walked across the enormous dam, much of the stone used in its construction came from a nearby glacial moraine.   

By walking back along the east side of the Mattmark Stausee you have a view of the Strahlhorn and Fluchthorn

  We took about 2½ hours to reach the pass and about 2 hours back to the Mattmark dam.