I’m in Zurich on the way home from a climbing trip to the Dolomites in northern Italy. We flew into Zurich, Switzerland, took a very scenic train to Innsbruck, Austria, then drove to Corvara in South Tirol, Italy. It was raining on the morning of the first day, which ruled out rock climbing. So, we went and did a via ferrata, where you ascend following a fixed metal cable; you can pull yourself up on the cable if necessary and don’t need to worry too much about the rock. From Corvara we drove to the Falzarego Pass and took the gondola to Rifugio Lagazuoi. This lay on the Austrian side of the front-line in WWI and around a century later, there is ample evidence of the war: tunnels cut into the rock and the outline of trenches. From Rifugio Lagazuoi we walked about an hour-and-a-half to the starting point of our via ferrata (“Tomaselli”) up to the summit of Cime di Fanes.
It was clouded-out so we couldn’t see very much on the way up (which at least meant there was no exposure to worry about) and around two hours later were standing on top. On the way up the remnants of wooden ladders from wartime via ferrata were visible which was sobering and somewhat eerie in the gloom. Next came the three hour down-climb and walk back to the car which despite the spectacular views felt like it was never going to end.