We’re back in Venice now, getting ready to come back home. The thing about being away for so long is that you can settle into a travel rhythm where you do not feel compelled to rush about and see as much as you can….
Surrounded by steep, rugged mountains, now connected by a vast system of tunnels that have been blasted tremendous distances through the rock, it is easy to see how isolated cultural pockets develop distinct ways of life.
Climbing up along a long, dramatic arête (sort of like a long, upright column of rock that stands out, like a corner, on the mountain side) took a lot of stamina. This climb, due to the nature of climbing up that arête feature, had far more exposure than the day before. Some of the views down made my heart leap with an, “oh my! that’s a long way down” jolt. It was the bravest I felt I’ve been in a long time, both from an exposure point of view, and from the length of time I had to climb without respite. Bill feels it represented about a 5.7/5.8 climb.
Piz da Lech is a via ferrata that begins near the town of Corvara. Perched above the town, it is easily accessed by taking the Boè gondola, followed by the Vallon chair lift, up to a point on the mountain that is within a short hike to the start of the VF route. It has outstanding views from the top of the Sella group of mountains, with their dramatically-cut stone pillars and deep chasms. The Sellas are mountains that remain hidden from view until you summit up top… and catching a glimpse of them from way up there is so well worth the effort!
The main reason we came to Italy was to do via ferrata. It was something we’ve only done once before, and it captured our hearts and imaginations, so much so that we planned a vacation around it two years later. Back in 2015, on…
Adventure, for me, takes many forms. If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that it can certainly come from pushing physical limits, scrambling in the mountainous landscapes I love. But it means more than that for me. I want to see…
Jura Creek Canyon is an amazing place to take young children. The fun part of the first canyon is just minutes away from the trailhead, so even the youngest, smallest feet can make it there. And when you get there… well, let’s just say…
Paradise Valley is a spectacularly beautiful valley, running parallel to the majestic Valley of the Ten Peaks, sharing the slopes of imposing Mount Temple, Pinnacle Mountain and Eiffel Peak. It has a beautiful creek, picturesque Lake Annette (a great day hike destination in and of itself), lots of little wildflower meadows, an impressive rock fall area to explore, lofty heights from which to see the mountains and the valley through which you’re passing, and a gorgeous glacier-filled cirque. Its beauty gets right in to your very core and infects you with a sense of euphoria… so great that you don’t notice the lengthy distance you’re putting in with those dusty hiking boots.
We had ambitious plans: survive the descent, snack at Lake Oesa, then head out up and across the Yukness Ledges, come down to Moor Lakes, head back up the All Soul’s route to All Soul’s Prosect and then come back down through the larch forest to Lake O’Hara to catch (hopefully) the 4:30 bus out… followed by burgers at the Lake Louise hostel.
This hut has incredible, rustic charm, a long mountaineering history, and plenty of tales to tell. While achieving the climb to the historic refuge, and being up there, on top of the world, adventuring, cooking, sleeping and eating with great friends was an amazing experience, what captured my imagination even more were the stories of the people who had come before us.