Between 26th and 29th of August, 2009 we had a short but eventful trip to the Carnic Alps. This time my companions were all girls: an old friend and classmate of mine, Anikó; and two of my students from the university: Melinda and Adrienn. Our plan was to visit two sub-groups of the Carnic Alps: the surroundings of Zuc dal Bôr, and the eastern part of the main Carnic ridge around Sella di Aip. This report is about the second part of the trip, so it begins on the evening of the second day.
Second day – evening
As we spent much more time around Zuc dal Bôr that we planned, we were a little bit late: it was 7:00 PM when we finally departed from the Agriturismo Caserute and started to walk up to the Lomasti bivouac. We were already exhausted, and our backpacks were very heavy: we carried up plenty of water to the bivouac as we were going to spend there two nights and the map showed no sign of any fountains in the area.
The path was easy, even the short chain-aided section somewhere at the halfway between Caserute and Casera di Aip. It took however more and more time to stand up again after the short pauses. I had to remember, that we got up at 6 AM in the morning, and did not waste our time since then. As the last lights fade out at nine o’clock we were still in the Aip valley, trying to find the last few hundred meters of the path to the bivouac.
Finally, we arrived at 9:30 PM. The next surprise waited us inside the bivouac: there were already ten Italians sleeping in it. They were surprised, too, when we asked them if there could be some place for us. Finally, we got the two remaining beds (without mats), and managed to create some place on the floor. Luckily, we’d brought two isoliers with us; this night we made use of them as mats. We were so tired that there were no supper, no tooth-washing just saying goodnight.
As we later discussed, we got up after eight hours of lying rather than sleeping. We didn’t have enough place to stretch our limbs and the floor was hard, so we spent most of the night with turning from one side to another.
We had breakfast outside the bivouac as our „hosts” were still sleeping. Before our departure from Hungary the forecast predicted thunderstorms to this day, so I watched the sky with suspicion. It was almost clear, but in the west I saw very high clouds above the mountains. It was obvious that they will become cumulonimbuses soon. We decided to take a short walk before the storm reaches us.
We choose the peak of Rosskofel / Monte Cavallo di Pontebba, via the normal route. Without backpacks it was quite easy and confortable. The only thing to worry was the weather.
As we reached the peak, the wind gained strength and we heard the first thunders. A few photos, and hurry back on the same way. The thunders become louder and louder, but the time between the lightning and the sound was still more than ten seconds so we weren’t worrying too much. Later the rain began to fall, and we finally reached the bivouac in a heavy shower.
The Italian group had just left the shelter (we saw them departing while we were descending from Rosskofel), so at last there was plenty of space inside. As it was raining outside, we had time to relax a little and to prepare some decent food. After lunch the rain stopped, so there was a chance to take another walk. Adri and Meli declared themselves tired and sleepy so Anikó and I had the opportunity to try a harder route. I saw ganesh70’s description of the „Via Ferrata dell'Amicizia” here on SP and we decided to visit this route.
So, we took the path no. 414 again, but we shortly turned left. This path was not marked on our map (probably it is too old as it was a 2003 edition), but the sign was clear: „Madritschen – Nassfeld” so it had to be the right way. The track descended on a rocky slope and approximately 500 meters later it joined the path between Rudnig Alm and Madritschen. The normal route to Torre Clampil branched to the right somewhere at the halfway.
The starting point of the via ferrata was easily recognisable as there was a big printed sheet of paper attached to the rock wall just next to it. We put our harnesses and helmets on and started to climb.
The route was perfectly secured, but at some parts very hard. It really deserved the D/E difficulty classification. Luckily Anikó was a little bit slower than me, so I could enjoy the wonderful panorama also. The only strange thing was the relatively loud noise as there were a lot of kids around the new lake below us.
After the summit we descended to the saddle on the normal way and proceeded along the via ferrata Contin to Rosskofel. These routes were easy and would have been passable even without VF equipment. The Contin path joined the normal way a few hundred meters north of the summit. We turned left here and returned to the bivouac.
It was only half past five PM, so again we had time to cook. After a marvellous dinner (three different types of intant food) we discussed our plans to the next, last day. We choosed Creta di Aip / Trogkofel; the ferrata Crete Rosse for ascend and the Austrian (Uiberlacher Weg) for descend.
Hungarian mountaineers use the term „sour cream” („tejföl” in our language) when the fog is so dense that one can see only the nearest objects. That morning I raised the company with these words.
Luckily, the fog appeared to be a smaller cloud, and we got up in a generally good weather. Smaller clouds coming and going, but no wind and no rain.
After packing or stuff and cleaning the bivouac we departed at 8 AM, and started to walk along the border stones of Austria and Italy. We reached the Italian ferrata an hour later. Leaving the heavy backpacks there, we started to climb. I was a litle bit worrying about our novices as it was their first encounter with this kind of trails. My fears soon evaporated as they declared this route to be the best part of the whole trip. The route was excellent. It wasn’t very exposed, mostly ascending in a gully, so it was protected against the hot rays of the Sun. Being not too easy, not too hard it was an optimal introduction to the world of vie ferrate.
We reached the summit at 10:30, had some rest, signed the „Gipfelbuch” and walked back to find the descent route.
The Uiberlacher Weg turned out to be a simple, easy rocky trail with a few chains and one or two ladders on it, so the descent was rather uneventful. We got back to our backpacks at noon, and continued our way to the Caserute farm-house. We decided to go along the Traversata Carnica, and later on the path no. 439 until the road to Casera di Aip. This way we avoided the wet area east of the Casera full of cow dung. Finally we reached the car a few minutes after two PM.
The way back to Hungary was uneventful except that I forgot again the existence of the „siesta time” in Italy, so it was really hard to find a shop around 3 o’clock to be open. Finally I managed to buy the compulsory italian sweets for my kids at the edge of Tarvisio.
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