Brenta Dolomites - September 2nd-12th 2003

The 'Brenta Mist' ... (i.e. cloud!)

Tuesday 2nd:   Getting there: Four of us took a taxi to LBA & flew to Orio Airport (Bergamo).
We decided to take the bus to Milan train station (rather than the much closer Bergamo) because of the more frequent connections.
However we got on the wrong train and found ourselves in Bergamo...
- they had switched our train to a different platform and since we didn't understand the Italian station announcements we had no idea that we'd boarded the wrong train!
Finally we got trains to Trento via Brescia & Verona and luckily caught the last bus to Madonna. 

The team & the Cima Groste

Wednesday 3rd:  We took the telecabin up to the Groste Pass and then walked to the Pedrotti hut. This was full up and we had to stay at the nearby Tosa hut. (Apparently some German provinces had altered their holidays from last year so it was very busy...)   Because of this we found it difficult to book ahead and had to alter our plans to suit the availability of huts. 

Crowded on the summit of Cima Groste

Thursday 4th:  We climbed the initial VD pitch then scrambled on up to the summit of the Cima Tosa (3173m)     Afterwards we continued on along the Brentari via ferrata to the Agostini hut, negotiating the very contracted and icy glacier as the final difficulty.   This glacier was at least 5m lower than last year  when there were no crevasses in view and a good covering of snow.
Crampons were definately required this time and in fact we abseiled 50m down the initial slope because it was so slippery! 

The receding glacier above the Agostini hut

Friday 5th:  We left early but our plans for side excursions were thwarted when Mark had to run back to the hut for some forgotten gear.
We walked leisurely back to the Pedrotti hut along the very pleasant Palmeri path taking in the interesting scenery and a few bits of via ferrata on the way. At one point the troops rebelled and stopped for an afternoon kip... 

The Campanile Basso from the Centrale vf

Saturday 6th:  Feeling the need for a challenge we did the Centrale vf and then down the icy Sfulmi glacier to the Alimonta hut. Very nice cakes & coffee then along the Sosat vf to the Tuckett hut. Finally along the path to the Groste Pass and down the telecabin. Approaching the hotel we met the final member of our group, Neil, just as he arrived in Madonna! 

A tricky scramble on the Benini vf

Sunday 7th:  Up the telecabin and on seeing the size of the Cima Groste we decided to leave it until another day since we also planned to do the Cima Sella.
Along the Benini vf but when we got to the Cima Sella there was so much cloud swirling in and out that we decided to leave that until another day too!
We had our lunch in the mist and headed down to the Tuckett hut. 

The Cima Sella in the Brenta mist...

Monday 8th:  Waking up to heavy rain Neil & I postponed our plan to climb the Castelletto Inferiore.   Mark headed off on a long walk to Madonna and Neil, Cath, Deirdre and I headed round on the path to the Brentei hut.
From there Cath & Deirdre walked back to the Tuckett hut and Neil and I headed up to ascend the "300 rung ladder" to the Alte vf which had a very difficult steep scree approach.
At the junction ledge we headed back along down to the Alimonta hut for cake & coffee! Then down and back along the Sosat vf to the Tuckett hut. 

The Castelletto Inferiore & the Tuckett hut

Tuesday 9th: A better day but still too wet to do the climb. Deirdre headed off down to Madonna and Cath, Mark, Neil & I headed up the Tuckett glacier to the Tuckett Pass and the start of the Alte vf.
It was soon apparent that as a party of four we were going to run out of time so we split into two pairs.
Neil and I went on ahead encountering a lack of snow on the traverse of the snow couloir which left a difficult ice buttress at one side to climb around... At the end of the Alte vf we headed down the "300 step ladders" and the scree slope beneath (better in descent). Then back to the Tuckett hut via the Sosat to pick up our climbing gear and along the path to the telecabin to catch the last cabin with minutes to spare.
Mark and Cath carried on along the Alte to the Alimonta hut - mist making route finding awkward - and walked back to the hotel in time for dinner at 7.30pm. 

Piedre Grande from near Mont Spinale

Wedneday 10th:  Neil headed off to do the Benini/Alte/Centrale vf to the Pedrotti hut and for our final day Cath & Mark decided to walk up through the forest to Mount Spinale.
Deirdre and I got the telecabin up halfway intending to do a short round of the Pierdre Grande vf but low cloud made us review our plans and we walked across to meet them at Mount Spinale.
We all walked down to Madonna via different routes. 

The final bit of the Centrale vf above the Sfulmi glacier & the Alimonta hut

Thursday 11th:  Getting back:  Bus to Trento, train via Verona and Roveto to Bergamo.
Then we spent a couple of hours finding accommodation... Very difficult in this busy city but we finally found two "single" rooms.
We walked up to the city walls (recommended) and watched the sunset before finding a restaurant to eat. 

The start of the ladders on the Brentari vf

Friday 12th: Early morning bus to Orio airport for our flight to LBA.

This website is powered by Spruz