Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dolomites - Day 11: Piz Boe via the Vallon Via Ferrata

Our vacation was slowly coming to an end and we had one last day in the mountains.  The forecast was for a clear and sunny day (once again), so we opted to climb to the summit of Piz Boe (a popular and nearby 10,000-ft peak).

We started by taking the Piz Boe cable car and Vallon chair lift (as on two previous days), and then made the short hike to the bottom of the Vallon via ferrata.  This was to be a short intermediate grade via ferrata that climbs up to a small waterfall, crosses it on a suspension bridge, and then ascends a steep wall next to the waterfall on big holds to reach a small tarn above.

We saw two other local climbers who quickly passed us. We followed them up a little more slowly, taking care with the older cables and iron-ware that appeared not to have been replaced for quite a few years (if ever!).

From the top of the via ferrrata it was an easy but very exposed hike along a rocky ridge to the summit of Piz Boe.  The way was marked by red paint spots on the rock, and several paths converged on the summit.  Despite the fact that there is no road anywhere near the summit there is a full fledged refugio there serving beer, soup and strudel (and all manner of other goodies).

After lunch and summit pictures at the top we hiked back down a rocky path and a frightening scree slope to reach the Kostner refugio for a farewell beer.  From there it was an easy ride down the mountain on the chairlift and cable car to get back to our B&B.

We were lucky to find that Damon and Jayne had returned from their hut-to-hut hiking trip that day, so we met up with them for a simple but tasty pizza dinner followed by local ice cream.  It was certainly a wonderful last day in the mountains and a fitting end to our 2-week trip to the Dolomites.

Scrambling up to the start of the via ferrata
Sheri on the suspension bridge

Bruno follows on 

Hiking along the ridge to the summit of Piz Boe

Great weather for a hike

Its hard to get lost up here

We made it!

At the summit

Rock everywhere you look on the way down!

Back to the refugio Kostner

Enjoying the views for one last time

The refugio dog

Hiking is thirsty work for some

The view from the refugio Kostner

Back in Corvara

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