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Sometimes you hear about accidents happening on the mountains, maybe on relatively easy routes, and you wonder how it's possible.
On September 27, a thursday, I was sure I would have found nobody on the normal route to Monte Tagliaferro, but instead, despite the season and the normal working day, twelve people climbed the summit on that day.
I left my home at 7 AM and I drove for two hours to get to the village of Rima. It took me 3 hours and an half to gain the 1600 meters of elevation that divide the summit from the small village.
I found some people already on their way down while I was still scrambling up, but I was respecting my schedule for the day so I didn't mind about being the last one to get on the top. The weather was cloudy, but the evening before the forecast was not for rain.
I reached the highest point at half past twelve, while other five people were about living the summit.
I had my lunch, I took some shots despite the cloudy sky and then I engaged my way down.
I found the last five people I met on the summit still at Passo del Gatto, the key point of the normal route.
It was clear that I was quicker than them so they let me go ahead and I started the infamous descent along the slippery slope above the Vallarolo cirque.
Some years ago a landslide interested the path in one of its steeper points. The woman behind me slipped away exactly in that point, but luckily she could stop almost instantaneously. She was ok but she looked almost stricken by the panic.
Below passo del gatto the slope of the mountain is so steep that it's really a challenge to grab someone that stays below you: you really risk to overturn yourself and fall down.
I was slightly below the frightened woman, so I offered my help: it was only a matter to guide her to make the safe steps.
I indicated to the woman where to place her feet and, in a couple of cases, I used directly one of my hand, raising it up above my head, to place them.
Everything went fine until I was moving to let the woman take my place at the beginning of a more relaxed traverse, but she was so in a hurry to leave the exposed part of the path that she crawled between me and the slope without leaving me the time to do it, making me lose my balance and fall down.
With her body placed between me and every possible handhold of the slope, in a fraction of a second I gave up the Idea of holding myself to her backpack, because that could probably cause the fall of both of us.
It took me three horrible somersaults to stop myself right before the beginning of a rocky couloir, where I could broke my head.
I tried to get up: luckily my legs were ok, but I had my left leg and arm covered by blood. Some rock had in fact lacerated my skin, but, as I immediately told to myself: "Ok, you've been Lucky!"
I had to get back to the pass above, because it was too dangerous to cross back to the trail from the position where I was.
It was really an horrible sensation to scramble up on that slippery slope, while the sensation of falling in to the void was still present in my stomach and in my head.
When I reached the other guys the woman was crying and she was saying that she was so sorry.
One of the men with her offered himself to run down to the village and call for a rescue.
I was more angry than frightened, even If I knew that there was nobody to really blame on.
I told them that I was ok and I run down to the village. Along the way down also my wrist started to give me pain.
In Rima I washed my injuries in a water fountain and I got back to my car. It was hard to drive with that aching wrist but I could come back home.
An infection caught my injuries and a micro fracture was present in my wrist bones, but, once again: "Ok, you've been Lucky!"
The south ridge from the summit to Passo del Gatto and the huge Soth shoulder
The Vallarolo cirque from the summit
Ok, you've been lucky!