Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Friday, 11 July 2014

Friday 11 July 2014 - Summer Holiday - Day 15 - Passo Duran to Rifugio Pian de Fontana


 
Alta Via 1 - Day 6 - 18km, 1200 metres ascent, 8.4 hours.

A classic day on AV1. 

Sunlight of Delight and Views of Desire.

For the first time on this trip, several of our waterproof clothes remained stashed today. Others came out briefly towards the end of the day when we skirmished with a cloud as we descended through a zone of marmots and the occasional Burnt Orchid - amongst a vast selection of flowers. 

Beniamino and his staff saw us off before 8am after a good breakfast. (Pictured) After a short descent along the road, we headed along path 543 all the way to the Pramperet Rifugio. It's a wonderful belvedere path for most of the way. Fabulous views and splendiferous flora. Forest, scree slopes, and lazy rises through rock bands.

A good lunch at the friendly hut saw us winding our way up to Forcella de Zità Sud with a couple of Germans who were grateful for our guidance across some snowfields and up a rocky crest to the col, the last few metres being up a steep snow slope. 

Sue, Susan and Roy nipped up to a summit whilst Karen and Mike and I admired the view (also pictured).

It was a 700 metre descent to this fairly basic but friendly Rifugio that hadn't been built when I first visited AV1 in 1991. Its derelict predecessor building is pictured on the wall in 1983.

The descent was perhaps the toughest part of the trip to date, as it was unrelentingly steep and slippery on the limestone that was being lubricated by the passing cloud.

We are enjoying our last evening of 'hutting' before descending to the fleshpots of Pedraces. The food tonight is as good as ever - pasta, pork, polenta, nut cake etc.

The alpenglow on the Schiara is wonderful.

Here's a slideshow for the day (73 images)
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