Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy New Year!

A 10-day streak of sunshine prompted an outdoor celebration for New Years in the climbing capital of Italy -- Arco.  Unfortunately, the high temperature during the day was 40 degrees.  It was cold, but we still had fun.

Our first photo of 2011

 Our objective, Cima SAT, is the pointy outcropping of rock above the castle.  The vertical gain is 3,950 feet.  We had a big day in front of us.

From the beginning of the hike we had great views of the town of Riva and Lake Garda 

 This via feratta has 8 ladders that go up vertical or overhanging rock.  This sign says the ladders can only hold 3 people at a time.

I'm amazed that someone took the time and energy to lug these giant steel ladders up such unforgiving terrain, but it certainly makes for a fun day.

Jess didn't want to hang out in the hotel room, but she's fine in the backpack.

 Jess and I at the top of one of the steepest ladders.

Cassy makes a quick stop to pose near these dripping death icicles.  You can also see the ice pasted to the rock underneath the ladder.

 The summit!  What a great way to spend the first day of 2011.

 Jess is tired from watching me climb ladders all day.

 Cassy at the summit register

 This part of the descent was way sketchier than it looks in the photo.  Slick hardened snow and no place to go but off a cliff made this a no-fall zone.  Luckily the trail got better as we went along.

We had to break out the headlamps for the final 30 minutes of the descent.  We were exhausted and happy to have some Italian pizza and wine.  Over the next 3 days, our sore muscles reminded us how much fun we had.

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