Sunday, 9 July 2017. (Rifugio Mulaz to Rifugio Rosetta; Stage 8)
I actually woke up once during the night, which is atypical for my ability to sleep through anything. It turns out it hailed last night, almost the size of golf balls, and the roof of Rifugio Mulaz is made of tin. I was a little worried as it actually accumulated on the ground and almost looked like it snowed. With this being the steepest stage and coming off a long day previously, it should make for an interesting day. There also were some exposed cable sections, but I didn’t think they were bad at all. We did not end up using any safety gear during these sections. Deb and I do have a climbing background, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to use Via Ferrate gear to clip into the cables.
Turns out Deb and I crushed this stage in 4hr 30min, only 15 min behind schedule. It was steep, but not too bad; way better than 9 hrs. The lunar landscape features were pretty cool to see and quite accurately described. We started around 8:00AM and were done by 12:30pm, which left a lot of chill time.
Rifugio Rosetta is a pretty sweet spot. There are a lot of beer options, which apparently are tougher to pronounce than I thought. After a few confident attempts at each one I tried, I eventually just ended up pointing to each tap. ‘I’ll have that one! Grazie.’ Another nice perk was the 6 euro shower, well at least for me. Deb fell over in the shower, but it was better than hitting her head again like in Thailand. ‘Damn those slippery tiles!’ The best part about this rifugio was how nice the family staff were. They really made the place feel like home. It was actually a conscious decision for them not to make the wifi public to force hikers to converse with each other and share stories. I liked this.
The only downside to Rifugio Rosetta was that there are no toilets there, just those dumb porcelain holes in the floor. Maybe I’m just not that smart and couldn’t find the ideal way to squat to effectively take care of business, but when your legs are sore and you just want a little quality time to ‘do some work’, I just really prefer a toilet you can sit down on. Deb and I shared a small, 4-person dorm room with some German brothers from Stuttgart. They were pretty nice fellows and spoke English, which made it easy.
Getting to Rifugio Rosetta pretty early in the day, we had some time on our hands. Deb and I could've hiked up to the top of Mt Rosetta, which was visible from the patio and looked impressive. Nope! Lazy. Instead, we had speck dumplings with bullion soup for lunch, which were pretty bomb. I also chose to drink a few big Italian beers which were higher in alcohol content than I thought and they rocked me pretty good. I took a couple hour nap and woke up hungover. That’s what I get.
After my nap, Deb and I played cards for a bit. I smoked her in war and then taught her how to play poker. That turned out to be a mistake as she took all my $. I was set up. Dinner was traditional fare which included veggie soup and spaghetti to start, then a large pork/ham steak and potatoes. We had ice cream cake with chocolate syrup for dessert. I passed out at 8:30pm old man style. This wasn’t before I had a battle with one of those in the ground porcelain toilets. It was the most exhausting thing I did all day. I was pretty psyched I didn't poop on myself!