Day four starts with clear blue sky and and a beautiful sunrise, but there is a hefty wind out there.
We head uphill, it’s an impressive surrounding with all the Dolomite towers but the trail is very stony and exhausting plus some climbing. Plus the wind which is strong and cold.
Then finally the actual ferrata section is nice and partly challenging. The best part is the end where we let ourselves down the glacier holding just a rope. So much fun! I wouldn’t want to hike up the ice though, but we have chosen the right direction today!
Then we have difficulties to find the trail leading down to the hut, which is a bit unnerving as we are still hiking on ice and water and stones. In the end we find it but again it’s a long way down especially as I am already hungry.
We find a great spot for lunch, hiding from the chilly wind behind the chappel close to the Agostini hut and enjoying the great view and the sun.
After a rather long break we continue with a cafe latte at the Agostini hut before taking the next ferrata Castiglione. The first 40minutes are again a sweaty hike uphill before we reach the ladders. Plenty of ladders, leading steep up the mountain. The view at the top is fantastic and we take another long break until it’s too cold.
We can already see the Dodici Apostoli hut, but it’s another long hike down through stone fields until we reach the nice small hut at 5pm.
Just in time to change and sit by the warm wood fired stove for a glass of vine before dinner, which is followed by frantic activity during sunset. It’s too cold and stormy to stay outside the whole time so people just go in and out when the clouds change colours every few minutes.
Day five starts with mountains glowing although we cannot even see the sunrise on the other side of the Brenta. So before the breakfast at 7am we are already out taking pictures.
After eating we visit a small chappel close to the hut. The cross has been carved out of the boulders and maybe hundred commemorative boards have been placed on the wall, remembering hikers who lost their lives in the mountains.
And then it’s time to leave for our last ferrata. Uphill we go again, in the cold shadow and grey looking Dolomites. They actually look only really beautiful when the sun lits the stone. We reach the notch and can see the glacier expanding in front of us. We asked the hut tenant if it’s feasible to do this trail without crampons and he advised that it’s feasible if we stay always on the stones on the left side. He didn’t mention that it’s very steep and that the scree and pebbles are very difficult to navigate. We are hiking down anyway, realising rather late how difficult some sections are, with the stones coming down.
Finally it’s getting flatter and easier and we can cross the glacier on stones where we easily find the trail, very reliefed! The further way down is a bit of climbing and unfortunately just a very short ferrata section, while the pebble and scree parts pertain. We are counting our wounds and bruises, having fallen down both of us plus the small injuries we got on the other days. That’s how you know you fully enjoyed an adventurous week 😉
We can finally see the Brentei hut but as it’s still too far (and me too hungry), we take our bread for lunch in a nice spot in-between.
We continue to the initially booked Tuckett hut, very tired as we don’t seem to be able to really wake up at all today. At an intersection we decide to cancel the booking and continue further down to another hut, the Casinei hut which we reach 30minutes later. Great choice. It’s further down the mountains and warmer. They have great cake and coffee. We can relax on the grass and tables outside. It’s just the two of us in a four bed room. Dinner is delicious and we get some cheese to try in addition. Life is great and we got a well deserved rest!
The last day is a pretty short morning hike from the Casinei hut to the beautiful cascades of Vallesinella. After all the rugged and sparse Dolomites, we enjoy the other extreme of green colours.
Another ninety minutes later we are in Madonna di Campiglio where we pick up the car and drive to Trento. After a long shower we enjoy the afternoon in the town, followed by an aperitivo and a goodbye dinner. Peggy is leaving for Venezia tomorrow and myself for Zurich to visit friends.