Day 3 Rif Lavarella to Rif Lagazoul
We are at rifugio Lagazoui at 2752m (9028 feet), the highest elevation we will reach in the Dolomites. The view is spectacular when there is one, but today we are in cloud. With luck it will clear tonight. There is a cable car from here to the town 650m below meaning lots of day hikers as well as those who come to explore the tunnels from the first World War. The longest, 1100m long at a 45˚ slope is a WW1 memorial and a major tourist attraction. This area was the battleground between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy between 1916 and 1918.
The walk today was the best so far. A small climb followed by two hours in open meadows with marmots, cows and craggy peaks on both sides. Then a much longer climb to Forcella del Lago, a small pass between two sharp peaks, and a very steep descent. The climb and descent both look daunting, but are easier than they look. The descent is the steepest I have done, but the trail is excellent and as long as you focus on the trail, not the dizzying view down the slope, it is OK. That was followed by a long 500m climb to the rifugio. All in all, a bit challenging but something we both thoroughly enjoyed.
We didn’t reach the rifugio until 2:00 and the rain held off until later. Then it came with thunder, heavy rain and hail. We are snug in our tiny room after a good dinner The weather tomorrow should be much like today.