This was the day of the superlatives! The most challenging day but certainly the most exceptional and evocative, the longest stage with the most height meter, the most difficult path in the “Schiara”, the coolest one and at the same time also the last one in the mountains… We left the “Refugio Bianchet” at 6am, started right away with going up through the woods followed by rocks until 8am, and then climbing up the Via Ferrata for 200 hm to the Penis-lookalike 😉 “Gusela“. Up there we had a fantastic view of the Dolomites behind us and the lower Italy before us – as this will be our last mountain to cross. After putting on our gear we went down the Via Ferrata “Zucchi” (Level C) for 600 hm – and if I haven’t been with my group, I would have started to cry and ordered a helicopter. It wasn’t the height or standing on nothing else but iron pins, but it was such a strenuous effort to hold onto the rope or bars, having a 12kg backpack with you and finding the next spot to place a foot on, which was sometimes only those 2 cm more away than you could reach and knowing if you miss it you can’t hold on any longer… After 3 long hrs decenting on the Via Ferrata I was pretty happy and also quite proud once we were down and could get rid of the ropes. We soon were at the nice “Refugio Alpini 7” and could refresh, eat, drink, celebrate our success. But we did not stop there (like suggested in the tour book) but decided enthusiastically to continue 13.5 km and 1.090 Hm to the lovely city of Belluno. I changed from my heavy hiking boots into my speedy sandals and up we go downwards passing many ponds in the mountain river waiting for us to jump in (if it hadn’t started to rain). Getting up at 6am and arriving at almost 6pm in Belluno – this was also the longest stage so far! But a day I will never forget!
Highlight of the day
Doing and completing the most challenging via ferrata I ever did!
- 26.4 km
- 11 hr and 50 min (incl 1.5 hr break)
- 2.010 m up / 1.870 m down
- Highest point: 2.365 m (Monte Schiara / Gusela del Vescova)
- Lowest point: 400 m (Belluno)