In 2011 we decided to spend our summer holiday in the Sextener Dolomites! We had seen the Tre Cime di Lavaredo on many photos and read about them in so many books that we finally wanted to have a look at them by ourselfes.
So we took the train to Fortezza where we stayed for one night in a hotel close to the train station. The next morning we continued our journey to San Candido. In San Candido we took the bus to Kreuzbergpass. There we wanted to start.
At Kreuzbergpass we were welcomed with lots of sunshine and blue sky! What a good start for some days of hiking! We went up and up until we arrived at the Rifugio Berti. Because this was the first day we did not want to walk too much. So we had a drink and left our bags at the hut. Then we walked around a bit, lay in the sunshine and watched the clouds. The clouds were amazing! We thought that this clouds could lead to a thunderstorm... but there was no one this afternoon. We enjoyed dinner at the hut and discussed if we should take the via ferrata Roghel or the Alpinisteig the next day. This was not a long discussion, because we were both convinced that the Via ferrata Roghel would be more fun 😀
In the night we woke up because there was a huge thunderstorm!
The next morning the sky was very cloudy and we were not so sure if the via ferrata Roghel (which is quite difficult) is still the right choice for this day.. we talked to the owner of the hut, but he said that it will be ok. Therefore we started to walk to the beginning of the via ferrata. A long way up! From the beginning we could the that three men who stayed with us at the hut walked the same way. We couldn't believe it, but when we arrived at the beginning of the via ferrata Roghel the sky was blue - not even one cloud could be seen! We were in a good mood and started to climb up. A really nice via ferrata!! When we arrived at the top we took some photos and climbed down again. Down was not so nice, but it was ok. At the end of the via ferrata we reached a snowfield. We had no crampons and it was quite slippery. After we had passed it we could see a bivouac. And we could see even more.. the weather was changing again! No more blue sky, but dark clouds! We do not like this kind of sky! We had to make decision.. stay at the bivouac over night and wait if a thunderstorm will arrive... or risk it and continue via the via ferrata Gabriella to the Rifugio Carducci. We decided to continue, because it was not soo late yet. From the via ferrata Gabriella we could see the other three climbers still at the descend of the via ferrata Roghel. The via ferrata Gabriela is really nice, Brenta-like!
We enjoyed the first minutes, but then we felt some rain coming down.. or was it just water which came through the mountain? We became nervous, because the air was quite humid and the sky covered with clouds. But we had to continue.. we became quite fast and hurried safely trough the via ferrata. When we came around a corner we could see the Rifugio Carducci. But above the hut really dark clouds!! We had no time for a break and continue. When we reached the descend with its fixed ropes it started to rain! Luckily the rain was not very heavy. During the last part of the descend we had to go down a snowfield. Because of this snowfield we could not access the fixed ropes. Unfortunately the rain became very heavy at this moment and it was slippery. At least there was not yet a thunderstorm. There was a textile rope fixed above the snowfield. We used this to descend. At this time we were completely wet and only one person was able to use the rope at a time. We started to become cold, but we reached the end of the snowfield without any problems. When we finished the snowfield it stopped raining and the sun came out again - weather almost like in April. We had to take a break, because we were very exhausted. So we sat down and ate something. But after a few minutes we could hear thunder! We thought that the hut must be right around the next corner and felt quite safe. We started to walk again and felt very exhausted. Then we saw that it is still a long way up to the hut! The last minutes we were very slow and we heard the thunder. We were so happy when we reached the hut!! The Rifugio Carducci is a really nice hut. The owner is a nice and funny man! We sat down, a nice cappucino, learned some words in Italian and enjoyed the view around. When we had dinner the other three man arrived - around three hours after us.. They were also really exhausted.. After this exciting day we decided to rename the via ferrata Roghel to via ferrata Rock Hell. In the evening the owner of the hut told us that the mountain rescue team had to help six people out of this via ferrata yesterday...
The next morning after a nice breakfast we walked in the direction of the Zsigmondy hut. We passed it and walked along to the Drei Zinnen Hütte. When we came around a corner we could see the Tre Cime for the first time - amazing! But there were so many people!! We had something to eat and to drink and decided to pack our bags to do the via ferrata Toblinger Knoten. So we walked to the beginning - it was full with unexperienced people! People who already had problems at the easy beginning and people who caused many falling stones! And the weather was again not looking good. So we decided to not do the via ferrata this time. Instead we looked for nice and lonely place with a great view and spend the evening there laying around and recovering from yesterday..
The next morning we enjoyed a lonely breakfast in front of the Drei Zinnen Hütte. We were the first people who were up this morning, because we wanted to the via ferrata Paternkofel without so many people around. We hesistated a bit because the weather was still not good and there was said to be a thunderstorm later the day.. But then we decided to do the via ferrata. So we walked through a long long dark tunnel until we reached the beginning of the via ferrata. This via ferrata was quite easy and after a few minutes we were on top of the Paternkofel - alone and the first people this day. We enjoyed the view but because of the insecure weather we started to descend quickly. Then we walked along the Schartenweg to the Büllelejochhütte. A great path! We passed the hut and walked along to the Zsigmondy hut. We arrived there around lunch time. We had some drinks and some food and spent the afternoon watching the clouds. In the evening heavy rain began.
The next morning the weather looked really bad. So instead of going the Alpinisteig we decided to go down to the valley and take the bus to San Candido. On the way down we saw many flowers! We enjoyed these colourful plants and arrived safely back in Sexten. There we took the bus to Cortina d'Ampezzo. We hoped that the weather would change again and that it would be possible to do a two days trip trough the Ampezzaner Dolomites. But the weather stayed bad - at least in the Dolomites. Therefore we decided to go to Venice instead - afterwards we can say that this was a good decision 🙂