Ortler Traverse w/ Cathy

Cathy and I spent the past few weeks in the Ortler Mountains in northern Italy. This region is known as Südtirol (German) or Alto Adige (Italian), the region of Reinhold Messner's castles and museums. The locals speak German and consider themselves Tirolian, not Italian. The Ortler Mountains are famous for their ideally-sized ski mountaineering peaks and comfortable huts.

We based in the beautiful and friendly ski town of Sulden, where 80's pop music blares from an all-day après ski scene, the guides wear Hans Kammerlander hairdos and bro-brah attitudes are a mountain range away.  

After the storms cleared we launched from the resort on a seven-day hut tour. 

Route finding wasn't too difficult.

The Marteller Hut had duvets with clean, white sheets and beer on tap.

 And a serious boot dryer. We need one of these.

Cathy climbing Monte Chevedale (3,759m) en route to Rifugio Branca.

Rifugio Branca. They let us stay despite our nationality.

We'll be going to capuccino rehab when we get home.

Cathy spent a lot of time studying the maps.

An interesting European phenomena that makes an American guide's heart race with envy. We need this culture in the US.

Christian Ott, a super-friendly German we met over several bottles of Bondara, showed us around on our first day of touring from the Branca Hut. Here he is on the summit of Matteo (3,676m).

Christian on 45-degree wind-buff on Matteo. He'll soon cash in his 50th birthday hall pass of skiing Mustag Ata.   

Cathy touring above the Forni Glacier with our morning tour on Matteo in the background.

Cathy scrambles down to our final run.

4,000 feet of fun back to Sulden!

Cathy went home a few days ago. Woez me. Now I'm staying at the Rifugio Milano at the top of the resort tram. No internet up there so I've been touring glaciers and chutes down to Sulden for afternoon internet sessions.

Next is another Ortler Traverse with the Richards and Scissors family!