Italy 2018

Attempt of Piz Bernina 4049m and ascents to Piz Boe 3152m and Marmolada 3342m

A road trip to Italy with ascents to peaks Piz Boe 3152m and Marmolada 3342m in Dolimetes and attempt to peak Piz Bernina 4049m 17/8/2018 - 27/8/2018

Piz Bernina 4049m
Piz Boe 3152m


The diary

Friday 17/8/2018
Starting from Elati I passed from Larissa (Giannis’s place) where we load the equipment. Along with us, in addition to mountaineering, climbing and camping, we had enough food to eat on the travel and to ascend of the mountains. We drove uninterruptedly without delaying at the Greek-FYROM border. The road to FYROM is very good for most of it and has tolls with prices slightly lower than Greek. We also met a radar police to control the speed but we passed without any problems. Entering Serbia was dark and we decided to look for a place to stay in Vranja. We did not find a room in a hotel and we found ourselves camping at the Enigma Camping.

Saturday 18/8/2018
We wake up very early in the morning and left from Vranja and headed for the city of Nis. The road is narrow for several kilometers but a modern motorway is under construction. As we approach Belgrade, our signs led us through small sidewalks to get through and continue to Croatia due to works near the city. Arriving at the border with Croatia we noticed that there was a queue more than 5 kilometers across the border. Here was the worst time of our trip, in a heat wave, we waited 7 hours to get to Croatia. We entered Croatia and arrived in Zagreb instead of going straight to Slovenia, fearing that the same thing would happen at those borders, we headed south to the coastal town of Rijeca. The time had passed but we continued to cross Slovenia (about 60km). Entering to Italy we found a parking in Basovizza village park and overnight. The park belonged to the research center Elettra Sychnotrone Trieste and has a large particle accelerator.

Sunday 19/8/2018
Without much delay but quite tired, we continued to Trieste and from there to Milan. Because the highway had a lot of traffic jams we got up from Brescia to Edolo and from there through Aprica we got off at Sondrio (Valmalenco). Because we were late, we drive straight up to Campo Moro following the very narrow and uphill road that equaled two vehicles. When we arrive at Campo Moro we stayed at Rifugio Poschiavino.

Monday 20/8/2018
With quite heavy backpacks we started from Campo Moro 2006m at 8:00 and descended to the lake passing over the first dam and descending low at 1935m at the bottom of the second dam. The path passes on the opposite slope and ascends initially but then makes a long traverse on the left and rises again steeply up to Rifugio Carate 2650m 11:00. We continued without unnecessary stops towards to Rifugio Marinelli 2820m 12:30. Here was half the way but because we thought we had time until night, we decided to continue without knowing that the remaining half would be so difficult and demanding. Initially, the trail goes up the Passo Marinelli Pass 3015m and then the path is finally lost. Through a difficult moraine the route descends to the glacier and crosses the glacier. The glacier is very wide and the route crosses him to the west side. At the point where the glacier was steeper it has several beds. It was a labyrinth to find the right route to the base of the rocky cliff. Following a mountain guide with his client, from a distance we traced the passes on the glacier and we entered to Via Ferrata. The slope was vertical with two stairs, one hanging beneath the other. It was totally unstable. Although the slop was very steep, via ferrata was not very well done, and has in many places very exposed passes. On via ferrata the rain begins. After about 200 meters altitude on via ferrata we arrived at the Marco e Rosa Refuge on 3609m at 19:00. Refuge had many people that they came from the Swiss side.

Tuesday 21/8/2018
Giannis did not sleep well due to altitude sickness. We thought about going to the summit, but because Giannis had a lot of headache we cancel it. The weather in the morning was good but after midday it will be bad. So we made the decision to return and finally at 10:50 we left from Rifugio Marco e Rosa 3609m and we came back from the same route that we ascent. We descent very fast from via ferrata. After we pass from Rifugio Carate it begins to rain, and we arrived wet almost at night in Campo Moro (18:50). We overnight at Rifugio Poschiavino.

Wednesday 22/8/2018
The weather forecast was not good for the next few days to try another high mountain. So we decided to go down to the lower peaks and we left from Campo Moro to the Valmalenco valley. We visit Chiesa in Valmalenco for a few hours and before noon we left for the Dolomites. We arrive at the village of Canazei in Dolomite where we stayed in the camping.

Thursday 23/8/2018
From Canazei I took the local bus to Passo Pordio and at the bus stop I met a 86-year-old Italian traveler from Rome who knew the area because he visiting Canazei for 70 years. He helped me to define the route and he suggests me the possibility of doing a crossing trek. From Passo Pordio 2239m I started at 10:15, the sloping climb up to Rifugio Forcella 2848m 11:15. There were crowds of tourists coming to the Refugio with teleferik. From refugio Forcella there is a smooth path which is lead to Piz Boe 3152m, while it is passing only 2-3 points with via ferrata. Along the way, I was over passing many trekkers (tourists) and at 12:15 I reached the peak Piz Boe 3152m. Instead of going back, I continue to Boe refuge 2871m (12:35) and crossing peak Antarsas 2908m following 666, I arrived at Rifugio Cavazza 2585m. I descant the normal path of the refuge which is has a large steep section with a double via ferrata. I almost did not use via ferrata in order to avoid the crowd of people hanging in it. Finally I reach Passo Gardena 2121m at 14:50 and after changing 3 buses I arrived in Cazanei at 17:00 where Giannis was waiting for me in hotel La Zondra.

Friday 24/8/2018
By car from Canazei we drive to Fedaia Lake at 2000 meters. Getting on the cable car we got to Pian dei Fiacconi station at 2626m (10:00). Our goal was to climb to summit of Penia 3342m the highest peak of Marmolada. Because most climbers reaching the station at 2626m and they follow the path 606 that raises the summit passing through a big via ferrata. We did not know about the technical requirements of this route and that it requires considerably more time and it is more difficult than the classic route. At the begin, the path 606 descends and makes a long circle round the eastern ridge of the mountain and then ascends through the glacier. Crossing the glacier (11:15), via ferrata begins. It is very demanding, with a great spread but also with many impressive passages. Its construction began in the First World War where they had dug caves in the rock to fight. We generally climbed quickly, but because the sky was gathering many clouds, many climbers were returning. Arriving at the summit we reach a small refuge where we hid from the constant lightning that began to fall (14: 00-14: 45). At the refuge 4 polish were there and after a few minutes 2 Germans arrived. We got scared because lightning was falling very close to us. Suddenly a young Spaniard became furious to ask for help. Unfortunately, getting out of the refuge the electric field was so strong that the electricity on our heads made noises, and we came back. Shortly after, the other Spaniards were arrived in the refuge crying, but they were happy that they saved from that storm. When the lightning stops for a while, we pass very fast from the summit of Penia 3342m and we begin to descent almost running, following the normal route, which is significant easier. The normal route passes from a shorm (~100m) via ferrata nad crosses slightly larger glacier. On the glacier it begins to rain and it did not stop until we got off the mountain. On the slopes there is no trail and you need to be careful in finding the route. At 16:35 we arrived at Pian dei Fiacconi station 2626m. We got lucky because the employees open the cable car and we went frozen to the lake. We went straight to the hotel in Canazei where we stayed last night.

Saturday 25/8/2018
In the morning we left from Canazei and we drove toPadova where we made a stop for shopping and continued to Rimini following small country roads toll free. We first crossed the Po Valley with countless canals and tributaries. We arrived at Rimini in the evening and stayed at a hotel, a seaside town, very touristy, with no beauty.

Sunday 26/8/2018
After breakfast we left Rimini for the port of Ancona. On the road, a strong storm begins and the weather were very bad. We arrived early in Ancona and made a walk in the city where everything was closed because it was Sunday. The ship was delayed 4 hours and due to the rain we did not have how to spend the 8 hours of our waiting. Such, we visit the very beautiful cathedral of Ancona, Cattedrale di San Ciriaco.

Monday 27/8/2018
Although the boat was full, we found a quiet place to sleep in the boat. At the evening we arrive in Igoumenitsa. Without stops we arrived direct to Trikala and from there back to Elati on Monday afternoon.

Dr. Nikolas Kroupis
Electrical & Computer Eng.
Elati, Trikala, Greece
Giannis Michalopoulos
Larisa, Greece


Cost of the trip
Petrol and Tolls ~4000Km
Boat Ancona-Igoumenitsa
Hotel in Canazei/room
Refuge Campo Moro /person
Refuge Marco e Rosa /person
Total cost per person

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