Thursday, 12 July 2018
'Summer in the Alps' Day 10 - The Azalea Terrace
With more rain - and perhaps thunderstorms - forecast, we decided on a lower level walk today. The 460 bus to Pedraces was taken, whence the two chairlifts to Santa Croce. Sarah, Liz and Xena joined us on the bus and for the rest of the day.
After the terrifying ordeal of the chairlifts, Liz managed to calm her shaking legs and join us for a coffee in the rifugio. This is the starting point of several of the Collett's walks, including one known as the Azalea Terrace, which heads down path 15 to La Villa.
The Santa Croce rifugio is also used by Collett's in the burgeoning 'hut to hut' side of their business. More and more people are booking trips that combine a few days at one of their valley bases with a tailored, self guided, hut to hut tour. It certainly takes the hassle out of making hut bookings, as Emma from Collett's is fluent in Italian and there's no worry about deposit payments.
Anyway, suitably refreshed and calmed, off we went along the fairly busy woodland trail that descends slowly towards La Villa. There are frequent views through the trees to Sassongher, which today had an intermittent cap of cloud. Behind us, the Fanes summits were clear.
We took a longer way down as the weather was holding, leaving path 15 in favour of 15A, which brought us out on the edge of Armentarola, from where an easy walk past sculptures down the valley past San Cassiano to La Villa was followed by an amble past a pair of dippers up the Tort valley to Corvara, reached by 3.30. Lunch had been taken in a lovely flower meadow backed by the Conturines summits, on the way down to Armentarola.
S, L and X joined us in Chalet Roch, where our path emerged in Corvara, for tea/coffee and a perusal of our 2017 Austrian photobook, before returning to Chalet Angelo via a feeding station.
A fairly quick turnaround saw us first in the queue for pizzas at Pizzeria Fornella. Excellent. Unlike the football that saw England finally eliminated by Croatia in the semi finals of the football World Cup.
Today: 17km, 500 metres ascent.
Bus stop view of Sassongher, in Corvara
On a bench, ready to go
View from a picnic lunch spot
On the Badia sculpture trail - 'Figöra de ëra sentada'