Wednesday, July 25
(...continued from previous page)
From this point onwards, the route was actually not all that difficult.
We climbed up through some old, tortured avalanche fences that had been
bent into all manner of shapes, although whether from avalanches or rock-
fall, I could not tell. Above this, there was a little more moderate
climbng and a couple of ladders, and then the ferrata ended.
very near the top of the Tofana di Mezzo now, and off in the distance we
could see the dots of the tourists on top. The ever-widening panorama
now included scenery to the north. Jennifer, Pu, and Daryl took a few
moments to edge forwards on their stomachs to peer over the high western
wall of the ridge we were on.
With all of the difficulties behind us, we easily scrambled and climbed
the last bit of elevation to the summit. Jenn was noticeably happier now,
knowing that all climbing difficulties were now passed. We crossed under
the thin rope boundary that marked the edge of the tourist area at the
summit, and then we were at the big metal cross. Success!
We looked back south from the summit and saw some of the complex route we
had taken. It had been a great climb, the little off-route excursion
notwithstanding. Full of all kinds of variety in terms of scenery and
climbing, it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
After many pictures, including several staged stoic-looking Pu shots, we
headed down the wide path from the summit to the top cablecar station,
which took only a few minutes. There, on the broad deck, we relaxed in
the lounge-chairs, took in the view down to Cortina, and waited for the
next large cable-car.
On the ride down, we had a bird's-eye view of much
of our upper route, and you can see an annotated version of one of these
pictures below. We took only the first two legs of the cablecar
system on the way down, exiting at the Col Drusie station. We then walked
down the gravel road for a short distance to the parking lot at the lower
Pietofana lift. What had taken us less than seven hours to ascend took
us about 30 minutes to descend.
(If you'd like to read more about the Punta Anna / Gianni Aglio route, please click here
to go to my dedicated Via Ferrata page's route description.)
Four showers and a well-deserved dinner later (at, appropriately, the
'croda cafe' in Cortina), we retired to our tents at Camping Olimpia.