This day we did the circuit hike around Vajolet Towers starting in the village Pera di Fassa in Italian Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy.
The morning was very fresh and cool and we were really cold. It felt much colder than in Val Venosta where we were hiking before. But then the sun came out and started to heat up everything.
We woke up at the campsite Sojal in the village Pera di Fassa and that night we didn’t sleep very well. Unfortunately the campsite was located close to quite fast car road that was noisy even at night. So we had to deal with the sleepy mood all that day.
We had our breakfast and at 9am were ready to start the hike. We were taking advantage of going lightweight that day leaving our tent with the camping gear in the campsite.
We had a plan of doing 20kms starting from the village Pera di Fassa situated at 1300m and hiking up to 2500m to do a circle around Vajolet Towers and come back to the village.
From the very beginning, the trail started to climb first more gentle then becoming steeper and steeper uphill. We walked by the cable car Vajolet 1 that could take us all the way to refugee Vajolet and save us 600m of elevation but we decided to do it all by feet.
Yesterday when we were travelling to this region by bus we saw many fallen trees on both sides of the road and on every mountain plain and hill. After we researched the web about it and it turned out that it happened because of the hurricane in October 2018 one year ago when the wind was so strong that it destroyed lots of the trees and overall made a lot of damages in the region. Most of the trees had not only broken trunks but the roots were lifted up also. And it was absolutely scary to imagine how strong the wind was and how powerful our mother nature can be. We can do very little in front of her. So we just hoped that the storm won’t repeat any time soon.
The longer we were hiking up the better and warmer was becoming the weather. On the forecast it was said that it could be rainy or thunder storming later in the day which was the usual weather pattern for mountains and we already knew it from the Tour de Mont Blanc. But at that moment it was all nice and sunny and we got really hot while climbing up that uphill.
In the end the uphill got quite steep and even with little weight we were carrying that day it was hard to conquer. So it took us full 2 hours to complete and to get to the Campedie cable station.
Then the trail became flatter and even though was still climbing up but it was quite gentle compared to the previous one. The route was quite wide and rocky almost all the way up. According to GPS we had another 600m to conquer. We have noticed that there were quite a lot more people on the trail probably because the trail was easier and also the cable car helped a lot too.
The landscapes around were very surreal and at first it was hard to believe they are true. Those rocks are sublime and incredibly high standing up like natural rock walls impossible to conquer. The dimensions of them were just incomprehensible and very hard to transmit through any device. But it is always better to see with your own eyes. The light on the rocks were constantly changing too giving them a completely different appearance depending on the angle of sun and amount of clouds. It looked like they were alive, living their own life and it was incredible to witness.
When we were on the way up still the rain suddenly started and we had to take out our raincoats. The weather got really unstable and it changed several times like this so we had to leave them on till the end.
Up at the crossroads close to the refugee house Vajolet we confused the directions we needed to take, also the GPS on the mobile phone refused to work properly and didn’t help us at all. First we intended to hike up through the mountain pass but it turned out to be the Via Ferrata section which is quite challenging and ideally you have to be well prepared and equipped for it. And it wasn’t our way. Then we turned right to the path that was going lower along these huge rocks and there we met a lot of rock falls that were hard to get through and decided to turn back. Finally we discovered the right path that was going even lower and we didn’t need to hike all the way to the refugee to get on it. But there we saw a warning board saying that part of this trail was closed because of the rock falls cause by hurricane and it still wasn’t adapted for hiking. So a bit disappointed we had to come back down using the same trail while hiking up. Later we learnt that many of the trails were affected or destroyed by the hurricane in this region but the people were working on them and probably in next years it will be all fine and ready for hiking.
So on the way back we decided to take another dirt road just because it was quicker and also for the interest of taking another path and not doing the same trail again. It turned out to be a quiet easy route with no people or cars on it so we could enjoy it quite a lot.
Coming to the end of our day we were a bit tired but very impressed by the landscapes and the massive rocks that we saw all around us. Of course the damages of the hurricane were terrifying and it stayed in our eyes for a long time after this hike. Also we understood that Via Ferratas are not for us at least for now when we faced it up close. We realized that it is not a joke, they are really steep and going there with heavy backpacks is strictly forbidden. And we were not up for this challenge that time anyway.
So following this peaceful route we came back to our campsite to eat, rest and to sleep. And the next day we planned to move to the Val di Gardena and explore more hiking trails there…