The last chapter of our tale ended with Ted and I slogging up from the Tuoi hut (Tuoihütte) into possible avalanche danger, as a deck full of European ski alpinists looked on with disdain at our rash act of defiance. Actually, I exaggerate. The situation was well under control as most paths had already dumped, and what remained could be maneuvered around. Of more concern was heat stroke as we climbed through a windless furnace that reminded me of working construction in Texas in July. Fortunately this was not Texas, and the torture lasted only an hour or so with numerous rewards at the end.
Tuoi is a seriously cool place. Small, nicely organized, not crowded. While we decked I was thinking yeah, we could spend the night here…But I still had the legs for more vert, and I knew Ted wouldn’t have any problem with a small slog to top off the day.
Luckily, as shown in photo above most of the paths had run. But a small bit of hangfire here and there kept us thinking about micro route finding, and staying separated.
Tuoi to Vermuntpass is 547 vertical meters. Combined with day’s other legs that gave us a total of 1,845 vertical meters climbing. Tired legs is an understatement, as we’d been hauling our full packs all day as well. Blessing was when about half way up to Vermuntpass we entered a nice dark mountain shadow. Along with that, I’d remembered the trick of packing snow on the back of my neck to cool off. Try it sometime — you’ll be surprised how good that trickling cold water feels as it works down your overheated back.
Upon arrival, what do you know but photographer Dan Patitucci and his crew were at it again. I really liked getting to know Dan and his wife Janine (who also works in the photo game), they’ve got an amazing depth of knowledge about European mountain sports, not to mention the ability to create very nice photography.
We scored a private room, but the story didn’t end there. Note the television set peeking from the corner of the photo. Why, you might ask, does a room in a mountain hut have a television? Perhaps so American tourists can view Italian television for cultural literacy to counteract their unworldly American views? Or perhaps something simpler than that? Find out the answer in my next trip report.
Dinner at the Wiesbadener was a hearty pasta/meat dish with a custard desert. As those calories were grossly insufficient, we ordered up the classic athletic supplements shown above. This item is no doubt familiar fair to you Austrian mountain food experts. Anyone care to name that big plugger?