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Sunday, July 22nd
(Continued from previous page)
Civetta Summit
This way to Torrani
Dripping, blood-like letters on a big boulder pointed the way down to the Rifugio Torrani. It was a tiring scramble down to the rifugio, but it was short, and soon we saw the slanted roof of the rifugio sticking out from the rock of the mountain. The Rifugio is a small place, long and narrow, tucked into a hollowed out shelf on the southeastern aspect of Civetta's summit at an altitude just below 10,000 feet (around 3,000m). With cloud now shrouding the summit down to below this level, it was quite cool - even cold, and our group looked forward to a warm cozy spot and our hot meal.
Rifugio Torrani
Rifugio Torrani
Rifugio Torrani sign
All of us initially mistook the main sleeping area for the free 'bivacco' section, but after quickly noticing that the rest of the building contained the caretaker's quarters and a maintainence shed and then ended, we realized that this is a teeny little place, and that initial room was 'it'.
Food delivery cart
supply cablecar
Helicopter pad
courtesy DBoyd
Sleeping Quarters
We entered, presented ourselves, and then picked unused bunks for ourselves. The room was actually pretty cozy, panelled in warm-looking wood and with a cast-iron stove on one end.

There were five other people in the rifugio - three Italian men from Ravenna, and a Czech couple. Up in one corner of the dorm room was a narrow red door which led to the combination bathroom and slipper storage area. The smell emanating from that corner of the room was, um..., less than pleasant.
Warm and cozy
The Rifugio Torrani is manned by a single caretaker. Our particular caretaker was a little quirky. Quiet, with a big head of dark curly hair and a slightly hooked nose, he reminded me a little of Roberto Benigni - except with more and longer hair. He had a very un-Benigni like personality, though. His requests and his responses were terse, businesslike. He would appear in the dorm room in the briefest, most efficient manner possible, bringing out a drink or answering a question, and then would immediately disappear back into his quarters. Maybe he picked this remote, hard-to-access little mountain hut for a reason?

We quickly warmed up to the little common dorm room, both physically and socially. The three Italian men proved to be cheerful and friendly. Paolo, Georgio, and Stefano were their names, and via their limited english and my passable Italian, we managed to chat about many things that night. Even the Czech couple were talkative (their english was pretty good).
Warm and cozy
Dinner was a mixed affair. The first course, a basic spaghetti with a ragu sauce, was excellent. Although there is often some choice on the menus in these rifugios, our caretalker informed us that only Polenta (a corn-meal mush affair) was available for the second course. We had big appetites from our long climb, and all of us agreed to give it a shot, although not without a bit of trepidation. The slab of polenta and fried cheese that was served to us was, I admit, difficult to stomach, but Jenn and Daryl found it doubly so, to the point of involuntary retching. It wasn't so bad, really. I think the most important thing is to wrap your mind around the texture of the stuff. The stomach will then follow. Hopefully.

The so-so dinner was followed, however, by an excellent dessert of Panna cotta, bathed in a thin caramel sauce. A little bit like an Italian version of creme brule, but without the brule. Mmm. mmm. mm-mm. Fan-tastic, and I savored every morsel of it. Daryl thought it was pretty excellent, too - a good recovery from the barfiness of the polenta.

After dinner, we had more animated chats with the Ravenna trio, then settled in for the night. It was cold outside, hovering around the freezing mark, but inside we were warm and toasty.

If you'd like to read more about the Ferrata degli Alleghesi, please click here to go to my dedicated Via Ferrata page's route description.
Interactive Trackmap & Photo Points - Climb of Ferrata Alleghesi, Day 1 - Click map to expand
Elevation over distance
Elevation over time
Climbing Log for Ferrata Alleghesi Climb, Day 1
Start Time: 9:24AM
End Time: 5:34PM
Duration: 8h9m
Distance: 11.28 km (7.01 mi)
Average Speed: 1.4 km/hr (0.9 mph)
Start Elevation: 3457ft (1054m) *
Max Elevation: 10576ft (3224m) *
Min Elevation: 3457ft (1054m) *
End Elevation: 9841ft (3000m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 7322ft (2232m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 1004ft (306m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
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