Alta Via Day 3: Mt. Hut Lavarella to Rifugio Lagazuoi

Following a long and rainy day 2, it was our third day on the Alta Via, and time to hike from Mt. Hut Lavarella to our final hut, Rifugio Lagazuoi.

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Day 3 on the Alta Via started with a European breakfast just like everywhere else: yogurt, muslei, bread, meat, cheese, jam, Nutella, etc.  It seemed sunny out, but as we were leaving we checked and there was 80-100% chance of rain!  We were a little bummed out, but knew there wasn’t much we could do.  The start wasn’t so bad, and we passed a nice lake.  P9070099

We then continued uphill to a plateau with a lunar landscape, where the temperatures became increasingly colder and we had to add layers. This was our first really cold and rainy section of the  hike where we had to stop a number of times to adjust clothing.

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We continued on and climbed up, up, up this mountain pass.

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We made it up a series of switchbacks, then were able to look down a this:

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The picture doesn’t do it justice, but we had a pretty cool downward hike. I liked it, because at this point it was sunny and the views were awesome.

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We got to the lake, and could see the rest of the uphill path with a Rifugio at the top. It didn’t seem too far away, but it took 2 hours to get to – it must have been an optical illusion! You can see the tiny hut on the horizon:

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After a long series of zig-zags, with some Austrian war remnants along the way, we happily and hungrily got to Rifugio Lagazuoi. We settled in and grabbed some suppe and our daily apfel streudel. Good thing we were hiking a lot (5.5 hours total for that day).

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Rifugio Lagazuoi was the most touristy of all the huts we stayed at; probably because it was accessible from the other side by lift.  This was the priciest hut we would stay at on the trail, but was still in hostel-style bunk beds.

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There were showers, but they cost 3.50 Euro and mine was VERY cold. I needed my shower though. Some Germans traveling alongside us heard that the showers cost 3.50 Euro and were appalled. They wanted a cold one for free or to use leftover water instead! They were perplexed about what to do and finally decided “Wir mussen ein bier haben” (means “ we must have a beer”) and instead spent their 3.50 on beers! 

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At the hut, we planned our next day’s route and enjoyed talking to the other hikers. We got Belgian beer recommendations from the Belgian hiker friend (in order: 1. Duvel, 2. Orval, 3. Trappist West – Vleteren). We ended the evening with dinner at our assigned table and had fun talking to an older couple from Holland, two older ladies from Germany, and later the Belgian & another German. Dinner was a set menu, and was good, albeit a bit rich and a lot of food.  I loved hearing from the older ladies that were still doing some pretty challenging hikes like Mt. Blanc – maybe someday! 

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