On one of the sunniest and most beautiful days of our trip, we hiked along the impressive crest of the Carniche Alps. After a short bus ride from the center of town, we took a 6-minute, 700 meter cable car ride up to Mount Elmo, with an elevation of 6,700 feet. From there, we traveled along an old military supply route to the refuge Sillianerhutte, in Austria.
Mid-point in our hike to the Sillianerhutte, two of our more energetic hikers opted for the trail to the top of Mount Elmo, while the rest of us chose the less challenging route. Its a very steep climb on a narrow stone trail at an altitude of 160 meters that took them about 35-minutes to complete. One of the highlights was to be able to go inside the WWI Austrian bunker that protected Austria from an Italian invasion. This ridge forms a border between Italy and Austria, giving us the most spectacular views across the Austrian Alps. The trail follows in part, the existing Austrian / Italian border, now marked with a white rock with an “I” on one side for Italy, and an (umlaut) O on the other for Austria . . . making it easy to be in Austria and Italy at the same time!
We were surprised that they were only 10 to 15 minutes behind us when we arrived at the Hutte for a hot lunch, a few beers, and a deliciously sweet dessert. Given that we had gotten a late start, we elected to hike back down to the cable car and take the easy way to the bottom. Our option to hike onward via the Klammbachhutte and then follow steeper terrain down would have taken an additional 3.5 hours and had us arriving back at the hotel around 6:30. Our group was more interested in a stop at the gelato shop in Dobbacio and a nap before dinner!