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DDD: Dolomites Departure Day
Wednesday, September 16
In a way, we were glad that the next morning - our Dolomites departure morning - dawned with a continuation of relatively cloudy conditions. I think we would have felt a bit cheated if it had been clear and sunny. Still, it might have been nice to get a glimpse of the Croda Rossa from below, but unfortunately it was invisible. We could see clearly up to about the level of the Passo della Sentinella, and that was about all.
Vallon Popera
Berti is on 101
Passo della Sentinella
After breakfast, we made the rounds, thanking Marco and all of his family for the warm and capable hosting they had provided over our three days at the Rifugio Berti. Certainly the time we had visited - right around the middle of September - allowed us to avoid the crowds (there were no more than three groups, including us, at any one time over the three days we were there) and enjoy a quiet and semi-private experience.

We then packed up our gear and set off on the short, roughly hour-long hike down trail 101 to the car.
courtesy JInnes
Saying goodbye to Marco
Bye Marco, Bye Berti
Down trail 101
Val Grande Below
Still Cloudy
Downhill on 101
Rifugio Lunelli
Feeder fall
A last look
Val Grande Forest Walk
Arriving Carpark
Lunelli Cow
We covered the roughly two-and-a-quarter kilometre downhill journey in a reasonably quick forty minutes.

Now back at the car, it was time to change modes. No longer would we be hiking, climbing peaks, or staying in mountain huts. From this point on, we would be touring cities, towns, and historic attractions all reachable by car and/or some street walking. We were fully re-packed and ready to head off by roughly 10 a.m.
Lunelli Carpark
[ --- intentional empty line --- ]
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Hike Rif Berti back to car - click map to view
Hike Data - Rifugio Berti to Lunelli
Start Time: 8:55AM
End Time: 9:37AM
Duration: 0h42m
Distance: 2.21 km (1.37 mi)
Average Speed: 3.2 km/hr (2.0 mph)
Start Elevation: 6420ft (1957m) *
Max Elevation: 6420ft (1957m) *
Min Elevation: 5142ft (1567m) *
End Elevation: 5142ft (1567m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 0ft (0m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 1241ft (378m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
courtesy JInnes
Passo Montecroce
The end of the Dolomites portion of our trip signalled another transition, from myself to Roland. Up until this point, the trip's itinerary and planning had mostly been driven by myself. From this point on, however, with our path about to cross into Germanic territories (initially Austria, and then Germany), Roland had taken the initiative to suggest, plan and organize our time. It made sense, since he'd grown up in Germany and knew how to speak German.
courtesy JInnes
Last Look at Sesto Group
Once back on the main highway, we turned north, soon crossing into the predominantly German-speaking province of the Sudtirol. The Austrian border was only half an hour or so further along down the road, which was good; our next destination was the famous Austrian city of Salzburg, so our closeness to the border was convenient (in fact, part of the reason why we chose to end our Dolomites experience in the Sesto Group was because of its close proximity to Austria).
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