The southern edge of the Sibillini is distinctive for its highest peaks: Monte Vettore (2478m) Cima del Redentore(2449m) Monte Argentella (2201m) Palazzo Borghese (2119m) and Monte Porche (2235m).
Within this ridge is located Pilato lake. There is a typical glacial valley with a “U” profile. Here, even in Summer, there are some snow tongues, often covered with mounds of detritus.
Pilato’s lake was formed in the bottom of the glacial hollow with two circular basins (shaped like a pair of eyeglasses) with the maximum depth at its center (about 9 m).
The shape and the level of the reservoir are affected by annual precipitations. From Winter till late Spring the surface of the lake freezes completely. In the lake you can find a small shellfish which lives here and nowhere else in the world: the Chirocefalo del Marchesoni (Chirocephalus Marchesonii). It is orange and diaphanous, 14 mm long, it swims on the back and lays its eggs near the lake’s shores. This is the reason why it’s better to stay a few metres away from the edge of the lake. It was found in 1954 by the Professor Marchesoni during a hydro biologic research campaign, which was organised from University of Camerino.
Elevation gain: 1000m.
Duration of the tour: about 3 h to go and 2:30 h to come back
Difficulty of the route: medium, because of the length and the elevation gain of the route. The initial stretch of the path is teep and slippery.
Equipment: hiking gear, headgear, appropriate footwear, food and water.
Interest: geomorphologic, floristic, faunal and landscape.
Period: from late Spring to Autumn.
Location: the valley of Pilato’s lake is located on the south-eastern side of the the Sibillini Mounts.