Mountain flowers and a Via Ferrata – A New Experience!
A TRUE STORY by David Tomley – It appened on June 14, 2017
We had decided that during our summer break this year we would follow a route to take in as many of Zaha Hadid’s architectural projects as possible! This meant that part of our journey would pass through the Dolomite region of Northern Italy.
We knew a little about how vie ferrate had been constructed there during WW1 to allow heavy laden Italian troops to climb up and access various mountainous areas and that they were now being used for recreational purposes. We thought that we should have a go!
Next morning Enrico took us in his car to the start of our day in the mountains. To our surprise it began with a ski lift!
As we sped over pine trees with their scents all around us, we could see ahead the shining white limestone peak that we were about to climb. It was really exciting!
The trees gave way to upland grass as the lift came to its end and we walked slowly up a track towards Rifugio Averau, stopping frequently to look at views and mountain flowers.
We three were the only people around.
For additional security we roped up. Enrico led and then the two of us went up the first pitch, keeping the recognised distance between us. It was exhilarating and engendered a feeling associated with flowing endorphins! We proceeded in this way to the end of the iron way. The distance was not great, but the steepness was.
Along the way we found lots of mountain flowers.
At the top, we rested and just enjoyed sitting on the stone. The views were spectacular as was the sense of achievement. It was here that I told Enrico that I was eighty three! Mind, I am reasonably fit, a regular walker and not overweight.
We came down a different way and ended back at the Cinque Torri, where we had a congratulatory drink in the bar.
We loved the mountain flowers and via ferrata!
Without his local knowledge, his experience and his ability to relate well to people, our day would have been so much poorer. So we had a day in the countryside of the Dolomites filled with experiences for the body, things to reflect on, food for the mind, the senses and the emotions – thank you Enrico!