August 19th Punta Anna Via Ferrata-Dolomites, Italy

by - August 22, 2019

We decided to get a very early start for the day so that we could avoid the crowds while we did our first Via Ferrata.  We got up at 5 AM and hit the road by 5:30 AM.  Google took us the wrong way to get to get to the starting point.  We had to backtrack and go a different route.  Our smart car had a very difficult time getting up the steep hill and was starting to overheat.  Once we parked at the ski refuge we hiked up a ways to try to find the trail head for the approach.  We ended up going back down to find it.  The approach took us around an hour and was uphill the entire time.  We finally found the signs for Punta Anna and started the Via Ferrata.  We pretty quickly realized we were in over our heads, but kept pushing on.  It was an extremely foggy day and we were in the clouds for most of the day.  It was unfortunate because the views would have been breathtaking, but it was also really neat and added to the eeriness of it.  We got passed by a few people who were obviously expert climbers.  We should have started with an easier one, but we got so far and it is too difficult to down climb on Via Ferratas.  When we hit the crux of the climb we both had a moment of panic.  There were two spots where they had rubber stoppers on the cable, which marked that many people fall on this section.  We eventually both found it in us to get passed them, but it has us questioning if we would be able to finish this thing.  We had no idea if it would get harder or how long we had ahead of us.  At this point we barely saw another human and we were running out of steam.  Every peak we saw we hoped it was the last.  The clouds opened up and we saw a cable car, which is where we needed to end.  It seemed mikes away.  After 7 hours of climbing we finally arrived.  Our legs and hands were beat.  We had a big Weiss beer at the chalet and were so relieved to be finished.  It costed a ton of money to get down the hill-about $50 total to take 3 lifts down.  Once we got back to town we returned our gear, showered, ate dinner, and slept for 12 hours.  It was quite an adventure!

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