As we brought our via ferrata equipment along and the mountain weather conditions were said to be perfect for the next day, we started our Sexten experience with the Via ferrata Croda Rossa di Sesto.
We packed our backpacks in the evening and decided to take the first bus at 8 AM to the cable car station. As we use our bike backpacks as hiking backpacks there was – next to all the climbing gear and helmet – no space left for a lunch packet. So the plan was to get something at the campsite bakery to take away for breakfast in the cable car. Sounds like a plan but ended in a loooooong queue at the bakery at point 7:30 AM (as there are quite many German and Swiss folks around -> that’s what we call punctuality, right). So we did not manage to get something there. Great, so let’s go for a +1000 meters of height hike with 3 granola bars – in total.
What to say about the route, it was very steep and endurance demanding.
The via ferrata parts of the route were really not difficult, whereas the rest of the track with quite a few easy but still alpine hiking parts were mentally demanding for me.
We hiked with a very low pace, keeping in mind that we had no breakfast and 3 granola bars that had to be sufficient until we reach the mountain pasture again. As the track required concentration, there was no time at all to feel hungry.
We reached the plateau and saw groups taking the last bits (about 150 meters of height, maybe another hour to climb) to the mountain top. As a lot was without safety ropes and climbing, we decided not to go up but start the climb down. Nothing to regret as the view from the plateau was already breath-taking.
It showed soon that this was the right decision. You should never forget that most of the times you will have to climb the same route down that you climbed up – and I personally find that much more difficult. Climbing on rocks on almost 3000 meters of height is fine when you look up, but you will have to look down when climbing down, and this is still giving me shaky moments …
We later took the Burgstall Steig / track 15B to climb the rest down which gave that trip a bit of a nightmare finish. A loophole start, rocky, steep, boulders, rubble – I was only seeing stones but no path and was wondering how the hell I should ever get down and what the hell I thought doing alpine hiking on such a route as the first real hike this year.
I am lucky to have my private mental coach with me all the time, when riding and hiking, who told me “one step at a time” and “if you managed to get up there you will also manage to get down”.
And this is what it is – and why I love what I do – I managed it, we came down safe, in our own pace, and with the feeling that this was the best and most difficult route in the mountains we did so far. And with a strong motivation to do more of this, to further grow beyond ourselves.
At the mountain pasture we enjoyed a fresh waffle with cream and even decided to hike the rest of the way down to the campsite.
The day ended with delicious italian pizza and red wine and very deep sleep.
For tomorrow we called out a rest day.