Left: During a practice
hike, we used the via
ferrata (“iron path”).
Above: Our base
camp, the Rifugio ai
early in the morning. It was time to say good-bye to our
valley supporters, parents, and friends, and we quickly made
our way closer to the glacier. We started our hike from the
Rifugio Adamello Collini al Bedole. A “rifugio” is an alpine-hut accommodation with shared mixed rooms intended to
take in climbers and hikers who frequent the mountains.
These rifugios are managed by the Italian Alpine Club and, by
mandate, have to take in any hiker or climber for the night
Our destination was the Rifugio ai Caduti dell’Adamello at
3,040m above sea level. This incredible building is nestled
into the side of the Lobbia Alta mountain and oversees the
Adamello Glacier from approximately 150m above it. It can
take in a little more than 100 hikers for the night and is a well-visited rifugio and point for further excursions.
From Beldole, we started our ascent along the river filled
with glacier water. Our experienced mountain guides decided
to take the steeper ascent as we quickly needed to gain
altitude because a thunderstorm was approaching.
The first hour was really nice, hiking along the river, through
the forest, and along the foot of the mountain. Then it was
time to put our harnesses on and get ready for the more
challenging part: up the via ferrata.
One of the greatest thrills a hiker can have is to climb a via
ferrata, or “iron path,” up a steep and dangerous mountain
side. The via ferrata in the Dolomites is quite literally a route
with fixed “protection” that aids the climber in moving more
safely through the mountains. And now it was time for us to
connect to the via ferrata, just as the sky above us started to
Within minutes, we started to feel the first raindrops, and
our guides kept us moving up the ferratas with no breaks.
Out of nowhere, the sky opened up, and it rained cats and
dogs while we were climbing along the ferrata. There was a
big thunderstorm above us. And being attached to metal lines
started to worry not only our guides but also some of us as
well. Lightning is a bad ingredient in all of this, and we had to
Within minutes, We started to feel the first raindrops. being
attached to metal lines started to Worry not only our guides but
also some of us as Well. lightning is a bad ingredient in all of this.
Right: The team is
about to get into
the climbing part on
the way up to the