Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dolomiti, Part II

Yes, this post is admittedly a little late. Things have been so crazy over that last few weeks but I promised Chris I would get this one up. I will try to make this one a little bit shorter, but its had to get everything into one post so it might end up as two. Sorry Eth, but its not like you read it anyway.

When I last wrote we had just started our hiking the the Dolomites. Our first segment lasted three days in huts before we reached another little village. From Rifugio Genova, we set out early in the morning towards another distant pass. Though I love being able to see the final destination on hikes like these, it is an bit disheartening when it looks so far away. Today the distant Forcella della Roa looked like a tiny opening in the menacing roll of rock before us. In fact, I was doubting a little our ability to get over it. There is so much rock in this area that it inevitable results in scree fields, which of course we have to cross. Steep, movable scree -- that was what was in store for us. The beginning of the hike was beautiful along the ridge.

As we approached the notch we could tell that there were going to be a few sketchy paths trying to get to the top. Not only did the trail cut across the steep slopes, by which I mean such a steep drop off that there is not way you are stopping if you go down, but they we had to scramble on zig-zags up the scree field. It was so steep! I was trying to catch my breath, but stopping in the middle of the slope was too dangerous in many places, which made the climb less than enjoyable. However, we made it to the top just as a huge tour group of people decided to descend. And thank god for our timing. As the people started to slip and slide down the trail -- we witnessed two falls within the first 100 feet -- we there so happy that we didn't have them trying to go down as we were climbing. The chances of us getting a rock in the head were probably 50-50.

The top was spectacular, views down both valleys and around the whole area are pretty crazy because of the sheer rock faces in all directions. It was also a gorgeous day, blue sky and warm. But we weren't out of the water just yet. From the forcella there were two ways to get to our next hut. Our planned route took us down from the top, along the rocky valley for a bit then up and over another pass. The alternate route was comprised of a series of ladders straight up and over the cliff. As we looked in the direction of the via ferrata, i.e. iron way, as the system of ladder and cables is called, we thought to ourselves there is no way that anyone but the most experiences climbers go that way. Boy were we wrong.

Sitting of the top, enjoying the view and our snack of cheese and elven bread we were joined by two different tour groups. The first was a bunch of English speakers most in the 50s and 60s and the second was a group of pre-teens. To our amazement both groups set off towards the via ferrata. We also ran into a group of four German guys, who we had (perhaps unfortunately because one of them snored incredibly loud all night and Chris got zero sleep) encountered at the previous rifugio. They spoke enough English to encourage us to come along, saying it was very easy and the children go on it every year.

In the end we decided against it, but our way turned out to also contain a section of iron cables along a steep cliff, so in hindsight I am not sure if we chose correctly. As we got to the top of the second pass we discovered that the trail did not go down the other side, as any sane person might have expected, but instead continued up along the spine of the ridge. Granted there was a purpose to the madness, since it brought us to the top of the cliff which turned out to be relatively flat -- and had amazing views. Still, as we climb on hand and knees at some points up the rock we were both contemplating the decisions to build the trail this way. The iron stretch was definitely the more dangerous we had encountered, and both Chris and I were a bit nervous. When we made it to Rifugio Puez, a relatively short walk along the tabletop, still both thinking about the cliff just out of view down to our right, we decided to take a closer look at the planned itinerary.

That night at the hut, after some delicious spaghetti, beer and a little World Cup action, we decided to hike around the next mountain, rather than over the top as the route originally directed us. Instead to descended into the town of Covara, a small little town at the foot of a few different peaks. In the winter the whole area is home to a ski area called the Alta Badia. We found a great little B&B before Chris read about a bike ride that went over four different passes and around the highest mountain in the area. He was able to get in a three hour ride in the afternoon while I took a little nap.

10 comments:

陳柏毅 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................

姚吳宗瑞家弘 said...

馬丁路德:「即使知道明天世界即將毀滅,我仍願在今天種下一棵小樹。」............................................................

建邱勳 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債..................................................................

王李慧萍政勳 said...

大肚能容,了卻人間多少事,滿腔歡喜,笑開天下古今愁。..................................................

鐘王惠文美惠 said...

做好事,不需要給人知道,雖然只是一件微不足道的事,但我相信,這會帶給我快樂。..................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

每次看完你的文章,總是回味許久,要經常發表喔。..................................................

怡屏 said...

Poverty tries friends...................................................................

江趙雲虹趙雲虹仁昆 said...

要持續更新下去喲!!期待~~............................................................

千TatianaCallan惠 said...

每次看完你的文章,總是回味許久,要經常發表喔。..................................................

千TatianaCallan惠 said...

謝謝大大分享!!經典!~(。・ω・)............................................................