So after our near-epic circumnavigation of Civetta, we decided that we wanted to do an overnight at Rifugio Tissi. Teetering on a lower peak high above Alleghe and just across a small alpine valley from Civetta, it represented a high shock and awe payoff for a relatively short hike.
We get the whole group together (minus Nenad, whose immune system is protesting from 5 hours of cycling every day), and ride the gondola to the top of the ski resort, which puts us within a couple hours of striking distance of the rif.
Rifugio Tissi and its view to the E. I'm standing on the edge of a 3000' drop to Alleghe.
This rif, like the others, serves dinner and breakfast, along with all-day pastries, coffee, beer, and wine. In short, it's heaven. Rates are reasonable enough; it's 24Euro to spend the night, but the full menu about doubles that. It seems like a lot, but the convenience of traveling with nothing but a bedsheet goes a long ways.
Mountain housecat; no known predators
Dinner is hearty, filling, and fun. As the light turns from "afternoon" to "photo," we escape outside for a couple of sessions, winding our way through the small herd of cows that the family running the rif farms.
Phil soaks in the view
Phil shows off
The wind on our exposed little spire grows as dusk falls, so the others retreat inside and I stay for some fun. I start by setting my tripod up literally 2 inches away from a 3000 foot drop with pitch black nothingness as my guide for safety. Warning: three photos I like a LOT are next.
Overlooking Alleghe and nearby villages
The moon, risen earlier, begins to overwhelm the night sky with its cool light, and I start losing the ability to form coherent sentences.
Looking S past Civetta
Looking N past Civetta and Rif Tissi
The cold finally gets to me and I retreat inside to listen to the wind beat the windows of our dorm room together all night. I drag myself out of bed well before breakfast, catch some more good light, and slink back up the hill, again winding my way through the cows.
Still windy in the morning
Lovely view before breakfast
We get kicked out shortly after breakfast, but that's OK, as it's yet another glorious day in the Dolomites.
Last up close look at Tissi
The valley between Tissi and Civetta is small, wild, and filled with massive chunks of rock that peeled off Civetta over the years. The view from directly underneath a 3000' rock wall has a way of making one feel very, very small, and that's a good thing to do every now and then.
Rocks beneath Civetta (click for larger)
New resident of the greater Civetta area
Murphy strolls through a field full of wee pebbles
We take our time getting back to Rif Coldai and the trailhead; we had hurried the day before. The opportunity to spend extra time in this stunning country is our payoff for having hurried even more seriously through it on our circumnavigation.
A long string of hikers dwarfed by the rock wall (suck it, Instagram)
It has warmed nicely by the time we get back around to Coldai, so we relax for lunch and a dip.
Naked man, chased by dog
Disapproving man, watching naked man, chased by dog
Phil has fun with Coldai's grocery cart
From Coldai, it's a quick blast back down the hill to the gondola, so our primary goal becomes beer at the bottom of the hill, followed by a nap.
This is -really- a great life to settle into...
However, I have a confession to make. There was a photo from the evening session that deserves its own post, so I've held it back, and all seven of you will simply have to wait. So until then, spend a moment during your day to take a deep breath of the outdoors, have a glass of wine, and make your next day better than the last.
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