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Friedrich August Path

 
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The Friedrich August path snaking along the traverse under Sassolungo Friedrich August's monument A strange crazy golf course by the path The VAl di Fassa far below
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Edelweiss Marmot Marmolada Mountains through trees
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The Duron Valley and again Marmolada

We went on another guided walk today. Id been dubious about whether I would be fit enough. However I slept round the clock and seemed to sweat out a lot of the cold and awoke feeling much better.

We took the skilift out of Campitello it seemed strange that we had waited so long to take our local one. We probably would have gone up it before but we knew that this was the planned walk for today and so we walked elsewhere earlier in the week.

The lift goes to Col Rodello. This (like several lifts) seems to be perched on high ground so that the only way is down. The main path goes down one flank of Sassolungo to the Sella Pass. This is a 600 ft drop. However we turned off left after about 200 ft of descent and took the contour path along the other flank of Sassolungo.

This is the Friedrich August Way. There is a statue of him at the first refuge. It gives his dates (late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries) and described him as being a king and mountain climber. That puzzled me. I thought he would have been an Austrian but they had an emperor, not a king. Also the name was wrong; Franz Josef rules from 1848 to the middle of the First World War. He was succeeded by Karl (Im pretty sure) who was deposed at the end of the war. So I banged the name into Google and from that it seems he was King of Bavaria (no doubt deposed on German unification which might be why he was able to go off climbing mountains).

The path wanders along for a couple of miles and bursts of up and down, with the odd scrambly bit. It gives another angle on the Val di Fassa which was good. However the weather was worsening and the rain had started by the time which got to the col. This was nasty, cold, British rain so we tried to take shelter at the refuge. However it was packed it does stand at the meeting point of several paths so we ended up sheltering under the eaves.

Fortunately it had stopped by the time we needed to continue. We were now on a descending path and we turned off this down a valley. This was marmot territory. Helen the guide reckoned that they got regular sightings. Sure enough we hadnt gone far when we saw a family group of four across the stream. However slightly further on there was one right by us. It was just over a bank and it stayed there with us about 10 feet away see the photo.

The path overall was lovely and it brought us down without too much steepness (and looking at Marmolada for much of the way) into the Douron Valley. This is the river which reaches the Val di Fassa at Campitello. The valley looked gorgeous in the sunshine with the craggy peaks of the Rosengarten right at its head.

There is a rough track right up the valley but we crossed the river to walk through woodlands which was much more enjoyable.  It re-emerged on the track by a bar. One couple said they had been there before and were going to stop for a drink. I was amazed that Beryl and I were the only ones to stay with them. I thought Id earned a beer. They were both teachers so we had a good natter to them beofre returned to Campitello (which wasnt far)  

 

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