Alta Via 1, Day 5, Hike to Refugio Lagazuoi

September 11, 2019.

I woke up early at Refugio Fanes. I was on edge and a little fearful of the challenge ahead of me. I was going to hike 7.8 miles. The first two miles would be relatively flat. The remaining 5.8 miles included a total of 3,740 ft elevation gain and 1,700 ft elevation loss. For perspective, Half Dome towers over Yosemite Valley by 4,000 feet. Weather reports for that day were favorable. My maximum elevation would be 9,028 feet. When I was in my 30’s I would not have blinked at this hike. At 61, I was blinking a lot.

See that V notch and trail at the snow line? That’s the trail.

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Could you find the trail in 3 inches of snow?
Nasty steep trail. Nasty. Nasty. Nasty.
I made it!!! This is called suffering with a smile.
Now. Um. I have to go down there. Is the weather turning?
The refugio is on the next ridge on the horizon. Follow the trail.
I don’t need no stinking hardhat!
This is really the trail. And that is really the refugio on the left horizon.
If you zoom in you can see the refugio on the horizon. More climbing to do.

I had my lunch on the grassy area where the trails join. It was fresh baked bread loaded with salami and a delicious hard cheese with mayonnaise. So good.

I had to hike down that crevice. Zoom in and you will see other hikers.
Yup. I came through that pass.
I climbed relentlessly up to the next ridge approaching Refugio Lagazuoi.
From this ridge more stunning views hammered me.
In two nights I would be on the opposite side of this canyon.
Looking back at the Notch on the right.
I arrived at Refugio Lagazuoi. They had cable cars to the valley.

I was assigned to a room that had only one open top bunk. Refugio Lagazuoi was fully booked. There were 16 people in one room, mixed gender. They had hot showers (separate genders) which were great. Getting on that top bunk was really tough for me especially after a glass of wine at dinner. It was even tougher at 3 am when I had to go to the bathroom.

For dinner, the pesto pasta was good but the pork ribs were dry and tough. I was so hungry I didn’t care. The wine was good though. I had to wear earplugs due the snoring to get some sleep. Sleeping on a high bunk with no window open in a room full people was hot and stuffy. I would have preferred my tent and sleeping bag outside even though it was subfreezing.

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