Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dolomites - Day 7: Out on our own on the Brigata Tridentina via ferrata

On day-7 our guide was still feeling unwell, so we decided to venture out on our own.  Just up the valley from our hotel was one of the most spectacular (and well known) via ferratas in the region.  So, we got up early and transferred our bags to the B&B that would be our home for the rest of the trip (the Garni Haus Tyrol) then headed up to the start of the route.

Our route for the day (from across the valley the next day)

When we arrived at about 8.15am there were just a few people ahead of us, including a young boy of about 8 years old.  This boosted our confidence, and we set off in near perfect conditions with a spectacular blue sky above us.  

At the bottom of the route.  This via ferrata is of intermediate difficulty.

Sheri led the way up several iron ladders and across a steep wet section that lead to a stance beside a waterfall.  From here we climbed steadily with fantastic views - both beneath our feet and across to the other side of the valley.

Sheri getting started in the early morning sun.

On the way up.

Onward and upward.

Enjoying being on the rock in perfect conditions.

The final section of the via ferrata is quite steep and involves climbing up two iron ladders that are affixed to a vertical rock face.  There is literally nothing below you feet and the exposure is quite amazing!  After climbing these ladders there is an exposed traverse to a suspension bridge that crosses a big rock-crevasse.  The bridge sways just a little and the views from this point are breathtaking.

Crossing the suspension bridge. 

Don't look down!!

The next few pictures (taken from the path back down to the valley) show just how exposed this route is. 

Looking back across to our ascent route...
See the bridge (in the middle of the picture)?

A close up (with people all over the route by mid-afternoon)

Once we reached the top of the via ferrata it was a short walk to the refugio Pisciadu for a rest and something to eat.  As expected the refugio had great views and great food!

At the top of the route

At the Refugio Pisciadu for soup and strudel

From the refugio we walked all the way back dow the valley to our B&B.  We enjoyed hiking in a verdant green valley and saw many beautiful flowers and waterfalls along the way.   Overall, it was a spectacular day and well worth the effort of getting up early to avoid the crowds.

On the hike back to Corvara

Don't take a wrong turn!

Looking back up the mountain.

Yellow poppies on the trail.

Nearly back to the B&B.

Just a few steps from the B&B.

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