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Wednesday, July 25
(...continued from previous page)
Big Air for Pu
Spectacular ridgecrest
Up from Punta Anna
Near Punta Anna, the ferrata traverses off of the ridge on an extremely spectacular airy section, then climbs in a few small gullies, then reaches Punta Anna and ends. This marked the end of the first part of our route, and we would now hike and climb to the second part of our route - the Gianni Aglio Ferrata. But first, it was time for a break and a look at the wonderful view around us.
courtesy PChen
Tofana di Rozes
Close by to the west was the large, pyramidal-shaped mass of the Tofana De Rozes - another of the major peaks of the Tofana Group. To the left of the Tofana de Rozes, off in the distance, was the Marmolada - the highest peak in the dolomites. It was interesting to see how little snow remained on its glaciers, even though it was only late-July. climbing down from the Marmolada ferrata route would definitely have involved crampons!
Queen of the Dolomites
To the south, we could see Nuvolao and the Passo Giau, where Pu had discovered what was not a cow, and beyond that, the dark shape of the Civetta, where we had climbed the long ferrata Alleghesi route. It was a spectacular day with excellent visibility, and the temperature was perfect. We couldn't have asked for anything better.
Civetta from Punta Anna
With some food and some views under our belts, we turned to continue our odyssey. Looking up-ridge, we could see a large, wide face of rock. By eyeballing the scree-path, and the dots of climbers ahead of us, we saw that the route climbed a diagonal ledge of this face. It looked exposed from where we were, but as we climbed it was nothing much - not in comparison to the Punta Anna ridge that we had just climbed.

After this bit of the route, we scrambled along a few unprotected ledges, and then emerged onto a wide, sloping plain of scree. A well-defined path led northwards mostly on the level, until we reached a junction. Ahead was a descent route off of the mountain, but we weren't done yet, not by a long shot. And so we turned left, switchbacked back up to the crest of the ridge, and started along the Ferrata Gianni Aglio.
Back down at Punta Anna
A bit of scrambling
A bit of easy hiking
Tofana cablecar
Staying on the crest
Along the crest
We could now see all of the way up across many towers, rounded domes, and tilted strata, all the way to the summit. We could see the top station of the Tofana cablecar, which reaches almost all the way to the summit. It looked remarkably close, prompting Jenn to exclaim that it looked like we were almost there. I knew from the guidebook, however, that we had a long way still to go.
courtesy PChen
Punta Giovannina
The slightly airy ridge soon became much airier, and a ladder led up over a vertical step. I then made a mistake and was seduced by a well-trod scree path that traversed left. I should have continued up along the ridgecrest, following the red waymarks. In any case, the scree path traversed along increasingly slanted scree, soon reaching beyond the point of comfort. Below the slant were big dropoffs. The footing was actually quite good, but the combination of the exposure below and the side-slant of the trail made it unnerving. By the time I realized that we were off -route, we had already come quite far along.
Crags and Towers
Jenn was not at all pleased with this little off-route excursion, and it spooked her a fair bit. And as I said before, your mood in the mountains are everything - and a spooked mood means that everything looks a little more ominous and scary. From this point onwards, Jenn was more apprehensive about the climb - even though the actual climbing was easier than it had been on Punta Anna.
I could see that the herd-path scrambled back up to what had to be the actual route, and in my estimation felt that it would be shorter to just continue than to turn around and go back. After very careful foot placements and a little upscrambling, we were back on route, closer up near the ridgeline (see annotated picture below for a diagram of what not to do!)
courtesy PChen
Wrong Way!
Torri Gianni wind-gap
The bible is in hand
We soon arrived at deep notch in the ridge - the Torri Gianni wind-gap. This was a spot where a short but exposed little path leads across the crest of dirt that fills the gap.
Beyond this, ferrata wires led up quite strenuously and then around the overhanging side of a big, leaning tower. This part was fantastically exposed and physically somewhat tiring. It was short, though, and soon after traversing around the tower, we then climbed down over a neat rock-arch - the 'bus de Tofana', and then the wire ended.
Very exposed corner
Crossing the bus
The upper route
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