Ascent of Cima Dódici on 2012-10-05

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Friday, October 5, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cima Dódici
    Elevation:2335 m / 7664 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Maybe if I had studied the map more carefully I might have made a shorter walking journey than I did today. However, no matter, it was a grand walk throughout.
I set off on track 825 from Rifugio Malga Cima Larici (1658m)on what was little more than a steep cow meadow. Very soon I was on the ridge at Bocchetta Larici (1876m) - a right turn on track 826 meant I reached the first top Cima Larici (2033m P84) soon after.
Over another minor top, Monte Erbe, and then a drop down to Bochetta Lanzoletta (1949m) - where a path came up from a much nearer possible starting point. Then there was a steeper and steady pull up to the rocky summit of Cima Portule, complete with a cross (2308m P164). And what goes up, must come down so there was a drop down to Porta Kempel (2144m).
For some reason the marked trail misses out the next top along the ridge - Monte Trentin Cima Val Della Sbetta - maybe because it is exhausting enough saying out loud its full name. The track makes a long traverse and at times has to go round large sink holes and channels until it joins another track near Portello di Galmarara. Somehow I failed to spot this junction and carried on to meet track 211 near La Forzelleta. Not that it mattered much as that took me up to the top of the Ultra Cima Dodici (2336m P1874) with its two crosses and now familiar signs of military use in WW1.
I came down track 835 and still did not identify where it met the track I had used earlier. I realised I was back on that track but could not recall where I had joined it again. I then went back to Porta Kempel. The marked track takes you back over the top of Cima Portule. However, the map shows an unmarked path that traverses the length of C. Portule and that path is very clear on the ground. So, I followed it didn't I. All the way I had this slight worry that it would end up disappearing into a sink-hole or a large impenetrable patch of dwarf pines - but my worry was unfounded. It was clearly a maintained track that had been engineered in places. Towards the end there were even the occasional splash of red paint. And then right at the end it disappeared - as I had feared. It did not take much effort to keep going and find the main 826 track that comes off the end of C. Portule and then follows an unpaved road built by the Austrians in 1916 - the Prinz Eugan Strasse.
This road has a number of military cemeteries along it and at Bocchetta Portule there is a large crag that has been hollowed out and used by the Austrians (and the Italians) as a look-out and for firing cannons from. As I walked along, I was imagining a convoy of military vehicles being attacked by a small group of the enemy hiding in the trees under the leadership of a maverick Frank Sinatra or Dirk Bogarde. Don't worry, I gave myself a slap around the face and soon recovered.
It was dark by the time I got back to the starting point - good job that Prinz Eugan Strasse was built so well and easy to follow. And that there was no-one trying to ambush me. But it would have been quicker to come back over C. Portule.

For pictures and context, see my blog 'Went up a hill and came down' at:
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