I did it again! I packed by stuff on Sunday night, sat in my car and drove far away from Prague. Where this time? To a place where I’ve already been this summer, only on the opposite side. Do you guys already know which place I’m talking about? Lots of limestone at one place and yet incredibly diverse landscape, varying from the green (now more yellow) meadows to the dry, dramatic rocks. All European mountaineers come here and I’m already starting to understand why.
Yes, I’m talking about the Dolomites in Italy, to where it has been dragging me even more than to the High Tatras lately. They seem to be far, but they are only an hour further than the Tatras. I spent only three days here, but I got so much to do, that I had to divide the articles into three, otherwise I would overload you with pictures again, haha:)
Before I left, I did just a brief research. All I knew was that there was no snow yet, but all the cablecars closed two days before I arrived there, which had one advantage and one disadvantage. The disadvantage is that I had to go everywhere by foot, but on the other hand there were no people and that was much more important to me than having to spend hours and hours by climbing up. The vision of the empty mountains made me move forward.
On the first day I explored the entire area of Lagazuoi. But now I have to disprove what I wrote a couple of sentences ago, because there was still a cablecar running up from Falzarego Pass to Rifugio Lagazuoi. I think this cable car was actually the only one that was still open, so I jumped on it and saved two hours of walking through a boring forest.
At the top of the mountain, I headed towards Lake Lagazuoi, but I didn’t reach it, because I walked off the trail to climb the Tomacelli ferrata, leading to about 2,800 m.a.s.l.
At the beginning of the ferrata, I put on my helmet and harness and started climbing. Originally, I wanted to make a circuit and come back over the lake, but I underestimated my strength, so I climbed slower than I expected. Well, no wonder, because the 20-kg backpack was pulling me down, and at the same time there were a lot of overhangs on that ferrata, which I just couldn’t manage.
Right in the middle of the route, I decided to turn around and go back with the same route to catch the last cable car back down to Falzarego Pass where I had my car parked and find a place to sleep before dark.
It took about 4 hours to get to this ferrata, I spent another 2 hours climbing it and another 3 hours to get back to the hut, so I made a full day trip, haha:)
Even though I looks like it was 25 degrees, the reality was somewhere else. Yeah, the sky was blue, but the temperature was around 8 degrees up there, in 2.700 m.a.s.l.
Unfortunately, I had no idea when the last cable car goes down, so I was aiming for 5.30pm, hoping that the last one is at 6pm. I knew that the cable car was running every half hour, and when I realized, that I could maybe get on the one going at 5pm, I sped up a little bit. I came up to the hut at 4:59pm, and as soon as I got there, I heard some Italian guy (apparently the cableway operator) screaming at me to hurry up, since the last cable car for today leaves in a minute. After twenty kilometers in my feet, I tried to run, but I couldn’t. But they waited for me, so I got there and rode down.
I was incredibly lucky, otherwise I would have had to walk down and wouldn’t have been able to pitch my tent for when it was still daylight. Here in the mountains the sunset is super-early, about half past seven, so I didn’t have much time anyways.
Since camping outside of campsites is also forbidden in the Dolomites, because it’s a national park, I had to find a place which wouldn’t be visible from any roads or huts, and it also had to have a nice view of the mountains. I love that feeling in the morning, when I just open the tent, make a cup of tea and just watch the sun rising over the mountains… 🙂
But more about that the next time! 🙂