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Steep, Grassy Slopes
Soon we reached a height of land along the ridgecrest, and the main summit of Cima Carega came into view. To its left and not far below, we could see the Rifugio Fraccaroli -- our destination for the night -- perched astride Carega's southwestern ridge.
Ridgecrest path
R. Fraccaroli and C. Carega
R. Fraccaroli Deck
It was only a few minutes farther along easy paths to the rifugio, where (from the outdoor deck) we took in the ever-improving views of the surrounding mountainous terrain. These mountain ranges we were in -- the lower sub-ranges of the dolomites (i.e. the Alpi Vicentine) -- may not be as dramatic as the high dolomites, but they are still full of great mountain scenery.
Graham at Rifugio
Distinctive sub-peak
Fraccaroli Dining Area
We then reported to the rifugio manager and got set-up in our bunks up in the sleeping area. Turns out there were only four other people in the rifugio with us tonight -- four German hikers.
View from Rifugio
View south from Rifugio
Cima Carega
Soon it was time for dinner, which was quite hearty and tasty. We then had a bit of time to burn before sunset, and we thought it might be neat to head up to the summit of Cima Carega to watch the sunset. It was June 21 - the summer solstice - and it seemed fitting to go to the highest peak of a mountain range and watch the sun set at its most northerly point for this location.
View south from Rifugio
Nearing Sunset
Climbing to Cima Carega's top
The weather had turned beautifully sunny - but had also cooled down quite a bit. We donned most of the cold-weather clothes we had brought with us, then headed out of the rifugio for the 15-minute climb to the top of Cima Carega. The late-day light made for fantastic photos!
Climbing Cima Carega
View down to the Rifugio
Fraccaroli and Costa Media Ridge
Shadow of the Mountain
The Higher Dolomites
Costa Media Ridge
Graham and Alanna Arrive
Rifugio Fraccaroli
Sunset from Cima Carega
Cima Carega Summit
Distant Peaks
We snapped pictures in all directions: down to the flatlands of the Po to the south, north to the higher dolomites, north-west to the Brenta and the higher alps beyond. As the sun set, the constantly changing light and shifting cloud banks created many breathtaking scenes. There's nothing like watching the sun go down from a mountaintop!
Solstice Sunset
Clouds over Baldo
With the post-sunset twilight upon us, we headed back down to the rifugio, its lit windows inviting us back to warmth. Now that the sun had gone down, the temperature was dropping fast. Even though it was the summer solstice, the temperature must have already been down into the single digits.
Rifugio Fraccaroli
Costa Media after dark
We stayed up for a while, playing a couple of games of Bananagrams, a tile-based word game that Graham and Alanna had brought with them. Then, just before going to bed, I went outside for a final look at the scenery. The late twilight shining on the Costa Media ridge, combined with the emerging speckles of thousands of points of light from the densely populated Po plain below had created a wonderful but difficult-to-capture scene. Using a tripod for stability, I managed to take a long exposure shot of it. Some of the guys from the German group were out on the deck, too, and tried unsuccessfully to take a similar shot with their point-and-shoot camera. As it turned out, they spoke excellent english, and we struck up a conversation. One of the group's members introducted himself - Dirk Menke. We agreed that I'd send them my version of the difficult-to-take shot.

It was then off to bed - it had been a long day full of all sorts of wonderful experiences!
Interactive Trackmap - Climb to Rifugio Fraccaroli
Climb to Rifugio Fraccaroli and Ferrata Campanali
Start Time: 1:36p.m.
End Time: 6:12p.m.
Duration: 4h35m
Distance: 6.74 km (4.19 mi)
Average Speed: 1.5 km/hr (0.9 mph)
Start Elevation: 4295ft (1309m) *
Max Elevation: 7347ft (2239m) *
Min Elevation: 4295ft (1309m) *
End Elevation: 7347ft (2239m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 2994ft (913m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 5ft (2m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
After dinner climb to Cima Carega
Start Time: 8:42p.m.
End Time: 9:14p.m.
Duration: 0h32m
Distance: 0.15 km (0.09 mi)
Average Speed: 0.3 km/hr (0.2 mph)
Start Elevation: 7380ft (2249m) *
Max Elevation: 7443ft (2269m) *
Min Elevation: 7325ft (2233m) *
End Elevation: 7355ft (2242m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 1ft (0m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 73ft (22m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
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[ Europe 2010 home page | Introduction | Wedding | Heading to Riva | Wine Tour | Cima Carega Climb | Cima Carega Descent | Cima SAT Climb | Homefood Dinner | Riva Cycle Ride | Rome I | Rome II | Rome III | Rome IV | Pisa | Pisa & Bologna | Dolomites - Lagazuoi | Dolomites - Ferrata Tomaselli | Return Home | Supplemental - Asmir's Bachelor Party | Supplemental - Avellino | Supplemental - Food | GPS Data ]

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