Tuesday, July 24
(...continued from previous page)
Our route now headed down and to the right, down a steep, somewhat loose
gully. At the bottom of the gully, the route follows some well-
constructed ledges hewn out of some sheer rock walls. The ledges lead
diagonally upwards at first, then on the the horizontal, leading around to
a gap in the southern ridge of Monte Paterno called the Forcella
Passaporto. Here, the route crossed over onto the western side of the
ridge - the side facing the Tre Cime towers.
The passing of the storm must have also been the passing of some sort of
weather front, because the humidity and haze in the air had gone down
dramatically, the skies had cleared, and the visibility had gone up
dramatically. Late day sun now streamed down onto us, and the air now had
a crisp, clean feel to it. Standing at the forcella, we had a stunning
view over to the Tre Cime, now fully exposed in all of their glory. They
truly are a beauty of the dolomites!
In the rock nearby were strategically placed lookout / sniper holes. Although constructed for the worst of purposes, those manning these posts must surely have at times wondered at the amazing beauty they surveyed.
From the pass, we now traversed south along easy but airy ledges,
sometimes protected by ferrata, and through the occasional bit of tunnel,
back towards the Forcella Laveredo. In fact, it took us no time at all
to complete this section, and we were soon at the Forcella, having
completed the ferrata and now only a 30 minute walk away from the car.
Directly above us now, the towers of the Tre Cime soared skyward.
Quite pleased with our outing and with our reasonably good time,
especially since we had spent fifty minutes of that time sitting on our
packs in a cave, we hiked back along the broad and gravelly trail 101 back
to the parking lot above Rifugio Auronzo.
We arrived back [at the parking lot] well before
the toll road's closing time of 8pm. We therefore had a little bit of extra time, and so we soaked in the
fantastically-lit crags of the eastern dolomites for a bit. This was my
first real exploration to this region, and what I saw definitely makes me
want to come back here again! Torre Toblino, anyone?
(If you'd like to read more about the De Luca / Innerkofler route, please click here
to go to my dedicated Via Ferrata page's route description.)
Later, back in the campsite, we freshened up and met with Pu, who had had
a fine time cycling down to Cortina and seeing the sights of the town,
including several arts galleries and even a local funeral (We did tell him
he missed some of the most fantastic scenery ever, though!). We capped off our
fine day with a visit to a restaurant in town.