Tag: trekking

Alta Via 2, Day 8: A Roller Coaster Day on the Iron Way

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We wake up in our hotel room in San Martino di Castrozza refreshed and ready to get back on track after all the difficulties with timing and route finding yesterday. We grab breakfast, pay for the hotel and head for the funivia (cable car). To make up for lost time—and to save the legs—we take not one, but two cable cars up into the Pale di San Martino range. Ascending 3200 feet in a matter of minutes, we arrive above Rifugio Rosetta where we had intended on staying last night. The clouds in the early morning sun give the mountains an ethereal, gauzy feel. It’s good to be back on top, baby! (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 6: A Taste of Culinary Nirvana

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Today we stumbled into culinary heaven in a small hamlet in the Dolomites, the finest finish to a day of hiking one could ask for, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We start the day at Rifugio Passo Fedaia with a surprisingly good breakfast buffet, the highlight of which would be gigantic fresh coronetti marmolada, fittingly since we will walk around the famous Marmolada glacier today. (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 5: The Magnificent Marmolada

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For some reason or another, everyone in the rifugio wakes up at 6 and heads downstairs in a mad dash for breakfast, leaving us all alone upstairs. I don’t mind the early rise because I am wide awake after a terrible night’s sleep. I tap Matt awake in our cosy, little loft above the German family and start getting dressed. What is everyone in such a rush for? Maybe the breakfast is just as good as last night’s dinner?!?!
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Alta Via 2, Day 3: The Real Challenge Begins!

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Breakfast is at 7 at Rifugio Geneva, and, for the first time in all of our rifugio stays this summer, there is a long line of hikers waiting for the buffet. We are on the tail end of the rush and decide to take care of our other chores first. By the time we are finished packing up and visiting the bathroom, there’s hardly a wait. This rifugio has all the breakfast standards plus hard-boiled eggs which provide a little bit of much-needed protein on these trekking days. (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 2: A Taste of the Tyrol

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After a pleasant and full night of sleep in a relatively quiet dorm room, we wake at 6:30 to pack our bags and head down to breakfast. Though it must have rained over night, I am pleased at my first glance out the window as the range of jagged mountains that only slightly revealed itself through shifting clouds last night (and then disappeared entirely under a thick bank of clouds) is now fully visible. Breakfast is simple but adequate. The coffee is strong, and my three cups have me ready to hit the trail. (more…)

Goodbye, Switzerland! Ciao, Italia!

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After 21 days of wandering around the Mont Blanc massif on the Tour du Mont Blanc and then all the way to Zermatt on the Haute Route, it’s finally time to bid a fond farewell to the Alps and make our way south to Italy where we can begin one of the classic treks through the Dolomites known as the Alta Via 2. But first, we have to get there, so today is a travel day with an intentional stopover in fair Verona, as Shakespeare would have it, to rest our feet and soak up some Italian food and culture along the way. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 13: Zermatt or Bust!

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After a fabulous night of sleep, in a super comfortable bed, in a quiet room, that we have all to ourselves—definitely not the norm on the Haute Route if you are trying to travel on a budget—we wander downstairs to the restaurant to discover a fantastic breakfast. Peter, the chef/proprietor of the hotel serves us coffee and tea while running around and greeting all the guests. Man, does he work hard! The coffee is the cleanest, best-tasting cup I’ve had in a long time, and I savor every last sip. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 12: Making Our Way to St. Niklaus

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When the alarm goes off at 6:15, I am ready and waiting for it. We are in a dorm room with about ten other people, and I don’t want to wake up the others, if that’s even possible in such tight quarters. We fold up our sleep sacks, grab our stuff and tiptoe out of the room as quietly as possible. All of our stuff is in a cubby in the hallway, and this makes packing up a little easier. Even though it’s a bit cramped, at least we don’t have to try to be quiet while putting everything into our bags. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 11: Ode to the Baguette

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After yet another beautiful night of sleep (a private room helps!) we wander down to breakfast. Our hostess is a bit surly about where to sit, but the tasty breakfast hits the spot. The coffee (brewed) does me right. We grab our packs and hike back into town to grab fresh baguette and a few croissants for the road. Then we join David, Graham and Simon in town and set off up hill toward the pass at Forcletta. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 10: Clash of the Ibex

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The only downside of a night spent at the Cabane de Moiry is that it is a popular place with climbers, who generally get up a lot earlier in the morning than hikers. We can hear them start packing up around 4:30, and, for the next hour or so, they are banging around all of their gear. Even so, the beds in this Cabane are so cozy that we manage to block it out and enjoy our comfy little spots until 6:30. (more…)