Home Garda Stories The old dinosaur, Catena del Baldo – Altissimo di Nago

The old dinosaur, Catena del Baldo – Altissimo di Nago

by Redazione Garda Stories
Reading time 2 minutes

The last, tough climb of Garda Trek, on Mount Baldo ridges

If you take a look at a mountain, what do you see? A giant and silent mass, an enormous mother taking care of its kids living within her. We might think mountains have always existed, as the Earth: they formed and will disappear together. But that’s not true. If you could go back in time, billions of years ago, you would see that mountains form, grow and fall down as animals and plants do.

The 34 km long Monte Baldo ridge, going from Bardolino hills to Monte Altissimo di Nago, is said to look like the back of a giant prehistorical dinosaur. But actually I’m much younger than any other dinosaur that has ever existed. My formation began only 40 million years ago, almost 25 million years after dinosaurs had gone extinct. I grew together with the Alps – I formed from the main Dolomite, which I am primarily made of.

Before human history began, I used to be covered by woods of Swiss stone pines, black pines and red spruces. Not coincidentally, my name origin comes from the German word Wald, that means wood. Then, when human settlement began, my trees were cut down in order to convert forests to pastures. The terrain was perfect: the superficial stones, made of biancone and scaglia rossa from Monte Baldo, are very porous and allow free passage of water and air. The climate is windy and mild – these conditions are favorable for grass growth.

New life is said to come out of old. I’m neither old nor dead and many creatures having a shorter life circle live here. Human beings, too. They are on the top of the food chain, that’s for sure. They give their survival and future for granted, but the truth is that they’ll go extinct before I disappear. And then, in some million years, I’ll be gone, too.

The trail on Monte Baldo, going from Nago to the cable car station leading to Malcesine, is the last trail in altitude of Garda Trek Top Loop. From here you can admire all Garda Trentino peaks and roughly estimate (and be proud of) how many kilometer you’ve walked! Now you can go back to the lake and get back on the boat: the perfect ending for this wonderful tour.

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