Wednesday 24 August - Monte Paterno (by Ken)
Finally the rain stopped and the sun shone, so we set off to the holy grail of the Dolomites - Tre Cime di Lavaredo!
Megan and Lexi in one car; Martin, Sue, Ken and Helen in Martin's 'minibus'. We
drove via the
However, the trail proved very rocky, and difficult, especially for Lexi, so we dropped back down to the official trail near Rifugio Lavaredo (2344 m) [Except Martin, who unwisely continued across steep scree, interrupted only by an important work call from rainy Oldham. But there is a reasonable high route under the cliffs.]When we got to Forcella la Lavaredo (2454 m) we spent a long time taking photos of the breathtaking views of the Tre Cime.
After a well earned cappuccino and strudel, we split up again, with Sue, Martin, Ian, Ken and Megan heading up the via ferrata Innerkofler / De Luca, the rest walking all the way around the Tre Cime via trails 105 and 101.
The VF (MISUR 4) goes up a number of long tunnels and wired sections to the summit of Monte Paterno (2744 m). It is graded 2B (fairly easy), which was just as well as this was Ken's first VF! There are superb views of the Tre Cime, especially through a number of windows in the tunnels. Our Guidebook suggests going north to south, as we did; however there were many people going the other way. We spent a long time (Ken's definition, but no comparison with our long wait on Ivona Dibona - M) waiting for large groups of climbers to descend some sections. They really ought to have an official one-way system.
One party had two ladies who must have been at least 60 years old, without VF kit, but who seemed to be managing ok. Helen, on her walk, also kept meeting a woman who appeared to be wearing multi-coloured tea cosy on her head!
Our two parties rejoined at Rif Lavaredo for afternoon cappuccino and strudel, and to swap stories of the day's events. A wonderful day in the mountains that will remain in our memories forever!
[Helen adds: Helen, Caroline and Lexi had a good hike despite being hassled by a cow and a bull wearing big bells. We had beautiful views passing around the Tre Cime - an excellent day.]
We had a delicious supper cooked back at Camping Dolomiti, of salad, tortellini, and a mushroom cream sauce of Sue's creation - mmm! Washed down with local Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir) - €6 from the Co-op.
PS Megan is only 10 years old but already an excellent climber, and had energy to spare at the end of the day.