It is a long walk towards the Alpine guest house Rifugio Dorigoni in the grandiosity of Stelvio National Park.
I was determined to make it to the top and above, with ease and a lot of will, with my desire to overcome my short breath and the determination of a very stubborn mind, one of the many facets of a rough, though simple mountain spirit. I just don't stop, I may slow down but I don't stop. With an awareness on my body and a deep listening to its limit.
You don't challenge the mountain
you love her with each step you take.
And she loves you back.

The view compensates the effort, the amazing brightness of a blue sky gives you strength and the sound of the waterfall gives you power. The power of the mountain heart beat.

Yes because before you reach the plane of "Prato delle marmotte" you have to climb up a long staircase build between deep tree roots and running along an amazing powerful waterfall.
The waterfall of Saent.

Just below the Sternai mountain top on a gentle meadow lies the Rifugio Dorigoni. I thank the Iachelini family for their warm welcome. Cecilia loves her satellite internet and checks the weather report constantly to make sure that where you are going you find sun. Sometimes though is not in her hand. We were blessed even when on our last day we trekked down through the rain and the most disquieting mist. And despite all that I loved it.

We had the joy to spend a couple of nights at this altitude, close to the sky, embraced by the mountain and in celebration of our 10 months anniversary.
With the moon kissing our dreams.

And the magic continues the day after to the incredible stunning color and enchanting vision of the Sternai lakes, amazingly one even more beautiful than the other.
My soul was rejoicing. I can't explain the ecstasy and peace I felt when I walked up there.

A day comes when a man has to cross through important path. And there is no way back, only forward. You cross or you die, so it feels inside. It may look to you very scary it may feel you can't, you can hardly see where you are going and if you make a mistake you fall.
And yet you do it, you just move through - bringing one more piece of yourself to the other side.

The valley seems still far away, but you know you have to go back with a deep learning
and a sense of wonder about this incurable love affair with the mountain spirit.

All the photos as usual are from Driek. More of his photos from Italy on his flickr set.

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