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Alta Via 1 - Day 6

Today would again involve much climbing. Overall, we were at a lower elevation than in the prior days, but there was still much elevation difference. We gradually climbed uphill over a gravel road while passing a few farms. We reached the first mountain cabin of the day after several hours. As Koen had brought too little food, he had run out by now. To compensate, he bought multiple chocolate bars to bring along.

hiking near rifugio coldai
rifugio coldai

After the long climb followed a descent to a mountain lake. There were many hikers, and someone had to go to the bathroom badly, but fortunately, it wasn't crowded everywhere. Clouds were forming in the distance.

lake near rifugio coldai
hiking blog alta via 1

After passing the lake, we started a second, very long climb. We could see the next mountain hut on a high cliff in the distance. It took two hours to get to the base of the cliff and then another hour to get to the top. Our legs were getting pretty tired after the first two hours, but the rain clouds were closing in. Near the top, another hiker started talking with me and proposed to race to the cabin. Luckily I won.

view toward rifugio tissi
alta via 1 rifugio tissi

We had a nice view of the adjacent mountain cliff, but before we could even catch our breath, a thick fog blew in and it started to rain. We again had no choice but to drink beer and eat some decent food.  Usually, we had apfelstrudel and a sandwich with parmesan ham. If it was rainy we also got hot chocolate.

A couple sat opposite from us and told us about their hike from Munich to Venice. They had avoided all the rain by taking shortcuts and staying in hotels. Our hike already felt like cheating with all the huts, but I was glad we at least walked everything and camped in our tents.

When Koen was in the bathroom, a hiking girl approached me and asked if she and her female friend could sit at our table. This, of course, had nothing to do with the fact that Koen wasn't there. The women were also hiking the AV1 but in the other direction. It was helpful to get some insight into what lay ahead of us, and we wished the women better weather than we had experienced. Only halfway through the conversation did we find out one was also from the Netherlands. It again rained very hard, but there would supposedly be a dry period from 14:00 to 16:00 o'clock, just before another thunderstorm started. That put us in a hairy situation, as we didn't want to get caught on the mountain in the middle of a storm. 

view from rifugio tissi
view from rifugio tissi

It was nice to have a break, but we also didn't want to be stuck on the mountain forever, so we decided to go for it. We quickly walked down the mountain as soon as the sun came out. After the initial descent, the trail was almost level, and we quickly covered a considerable distance. The bad weather never came. We passed another mountain hut near the evening, where we drank some lemonade.

Then, it was time to find a place to sleep. We passed limestone peaks, which were beautiful, but also had made everything around us one huge boulder field without level spots to sleep or much water. We had little choice but to keep going, as the trail was too narrow and steep to pitch our tents. 

After a long descent, the trail went uphill again, and we eventually found a flat area in a forest. We would be practically pitching our tent on the trail, but we had little other choice and hadn't seen anyone for hours. I tried to send our location home using my GPS after we had pitched our tents. Ironically, I could not get a GPS signal, but Koen still had strong cell phone coverage. 

We heard some deer or other wild animals at night, which Koen really enjoyed. I also thought I heard some wild animals, but that was just Koen snoring.

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