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Published: July 17th 2011
Keyed up by yesterday's success in not dying/embarrassing myself a 2 hour walk in and another Grade 2A via ferrata sounded like a lovely way to spend a day and build confidence for the next level of VF. Other options were considered, but rejected on the grounds that the weather forecast wasn't much better than the day and we'd been close enough to a thunder storm for one week already!
So in changeable weather we were dropped at Passo di Falzarego 2,105m (Falzarego Pass) and set out from the pass up towards the Averau peak which was to be our second via feratta at 2,500m. It was a straight enough hike in following path 441 which was marked in a destinctive red and white every few feet on rocks, trees or other permanent surface. Nice to know that even the directionally challenged shouldn't be able to get lost.
It wasn't until we got up to the top of one of the passes overlooking the Refugio Avereau and the valley behind that the scope of this place really hit. Green valleys, desolate reaches and craggy mountain tops as far as the eye can see (well when the clouds cleared). Avereau
offers views down to the Cinque Torri di Averau (5 towers), across to Refugio Novolau and the mountain ranges towards Marmolada (the highest peak in the Dolomites) covered in snow and glacial ice.
The group had gotten a little split by this stage with the fit bastards running ahead (yep some of them did run!) and others including yours truely taking a slightly more relaxed approach. It meant a slightly smaller group tackling the VF and working our way up to the summit, just in time for the sun to break through the clouds and the views to open up while we enjoyed a leisurely lunch.
Had a choice to either go to the top of Avereau or to go back down and then go up the opposite ridge to the Refugio Novalou ... tempted by the thought of strudle and wanting a slightly different view I chose the latter option and headed off with another smaller group. Back down the VF by a slightly different route and then up the ridge line to Refugio Nuvolau for a coffee. Time was a bit too tight to indulge in strudel, but the views were amazing.
The path down
was through the woods was a lovely contrast to the rocky route up, wild flowers, trees and babbling brooks ... we even got to do a little marmot hunting (with a camera of course). It was a looong very satisfying day and naturally to celebrate we may have had a few drinks with dinner, then a trip to the next village over Corvara to see a live band and enjoy a few more drinks and then back to the chalet and it's open bar. A good night, but maybe slightly too much vino rosso, Day 3 will be fun (not!).
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