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Pordoi

 
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Piz Boe There is a gulch in the summit plateau Marmolada More moonscape
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The ski lift station Piz Boe - the final ascent

The previous days walking had been dominated by views of the Sellagruppe. This has a ski lift up from the Pordoi Pass up to 2900m and we decided that the next day that there were clear skis we would go for it. Well we only had to wait for a day. In some ways this wasn't good tactics as we weren't really acclimatised to the altitude and I wasn't desperately well; I'd picked up a cold which made it even harder to breathe in the thin air.

We repeated the previous days journey to the top of the Belvedere ski lifts but then went more northwards climbing initially and then dropping a long way to the Pordoi Pass. The ski lift from there is spectacular and towards the top you can watch the rock climbers tackling what seems to be a popular route up along the cable car - I was told that in the old days the climbers used to get a free trip down for providing this entertainment. We could also see the walkers taking the path up. Clear and safe but a lot of slog.

The summit is very much a plateau and it is another world, a moonscape. The booklet said that it is completely barren; not quite true - we did find some small plants hanging on grimly - but not far off. The walk in the brochure contours round to a refuge but it also said that the top, Piz Boe, is accessible to confident walkers so we went for that. This involves an ascent of about 1000ft and we got at least 2/3s of the way there but gave up. Beryl wasn't happy about going up hanging on to cables (and even less happy about coming down that way) In my case I was just having to much difficulty in breathing. I reckon we were round about 10000ft at this point (the top is 10300 plus) so not total discredit.  

One thought about the walking. What is the difference between here and the moon? Well giant's steps are not what you take here.

Back the way we came. This involved two hard climbs on the way, firstly up to the ski lift station and then out of the Pordoi Pass back up to Belvedere.  

 

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