Foronon del Buinz: Bivacco Luca V

The plan is well delayed by a day due to meeting a crazy Czech couple that becomes the third consecutive pair of Czechs I’ve meet now that are ridiculously kind. Leads me hiking C. Di Terra Rossa 2420m, and also the Jof di Montasio 2754m which is the second highest summit in the Julian Alps. Triglav 2864m is the highest along with being the highest Slovenia summit, that I completed 2 days before; along with Kanjavec 2568m, Velika Zenarica 2320m and fell run most of the 13.5hr day. So perfect set up for a now near broken body, nothing homemade ‘Plum Brandy’ can’t solve, especially first in the morning as a Czech tradition, or so am told.


The Bivacco Luca V is designed and built in memory of deceased Luca Vuerich. 34yrs old mountaineering guide that on 22 Jan 2010 was killed by an avalanche while climbing an icefall at Prisojinik. Designed by Italian architect Giovanni Pesamosca Dec 2011 – Apr 2012. Designed and strategically sited to withstand snowfall. Commissioned by Luca’s family, and built and constructed by them, technicians of Diemmelegno, mountain rescue volunteers and friends of Luca in summer 2012. One day, 18 helicopter lifts and 12 workers and the Bivacco Luca V was complete.


The hike to is a mere 1070m but an interesting one. Starting from the car park gradually made my way through the farmlands across a limestone white bridleway firstly following the signs to C. Di Terra Rossa. As I leave the rolling fields behind, I start to transverse up the bounding grassed rock face and go right at the spilt, pointing Bivacco Luca V. With scrabble rock now under my feet along the narrow path I finally reach the saddle between Torre Mazzeni & Foronon del Buinz. I go along the Forca de lis Siens. I now free climb the rock the old skool way and mainly with one hand as the mountain offers a great comfortable rock face. (Depending on your climbing skill, technique and experience though there are many well-positioned metal struts and cables to clip to for safety and comfort if you choose to use for peace of mind at your disposal). Now the bivacco (hut) is in sight, I ignore the final narrow scrabble path and opt for a very short but extreme vertical free climb to get on top of the ridge to be greeted with breathtaking views.


I open the hut door to find no one there but instead overwhelmed with the interior. An 8-bed modern hut with all the trimmings. So much to see, my eyes are spoilt. Clean pillows, twin throw-overs for every bed. Centred table with a kitchen open storage shelving set up at the back with every useful imaginable item including cookers with ample gas. There's even underneath saddles for each person. It’s not long till other hikers stop by as a late breakfast stop before carrying on. Am so contempt with blissfully watching the lives of clouds all day, only to be pleasantly distracted by a pair of ravens gliding around together every now and then. An oldish gentleman gracefully turns up and starts restocking the place up and doing little DIY jobs. I later confirm my beliefs that this is Luca’s father and find out it is said he comes up nearly every day. I tip my hat off to this man of the pure dedication and commitment he has had for the last 3 or so years through winter and rain; true fathers love.


1245 an Italian couple turns up, followed by two Slovenians guys just over an hour later. A further two Italian guys by 1530; and by 1645 and 1 more Italian guy and we are now full. Now snug as a bug but not long till signs of blue piercing the clouds through our little window we all burst out the hut to be greeted by pure heaven. The 360 panoramic views for as far as the eyes can see are out of this world. The Hut and us now dominating on top of the clouds, wave after wave. The rich deep changing colours from the sunset are now in its full motion is overwhelming. Darkness finally gets the better of us all and forces us all in. The hut now turns into a Hell’s Kitchen food fest with everyone around the central table cooking. Giggles and lost in conversation lead on till a sensible bedtime ready for a sunrise.


My 0600 alarm goes off to a soon broken heart, we are living clouds. Complete and utter fog and nothing more. Everyone cocoons themselves more in the hope of blue sky, but it never comes. The Slovenia’s are the first to break free and tackle the bad visibly around 0830. Next, the Italians depart 0900. I stay behind to embrace the hut for every last minute. First in, last out. Halfway through typing this and I get interrupted by crystal clear voices. I stop and go to open the door to see who the next attendees for the next 24hrs are; to discover the Italians are back. They decide visibly is too poor to carry on right, backward on the Terra Rossa route. Now willing to try giving left a go. The same route as I intended as I never like to go down the same route twice. I pack up and join them as if they came back to pick me up. Quick brush up / tidy up and it’s farewell to the Bivacco Luca V, but intend it never to be the last.


The route back that we all heard was suppose to be an easier, a safer one is definitely debatable. Narrow paths that disappear completely at spells hugging the ridge after ridge. The thought of this route covered in snow and ice for me is a given no brainer and no go route in winter. We finally make a group Irish parliament decision to break of this never ending path & head down the steep grass slope in hope of a path. Fortune is on our side, now the mind numbing way back down kicks in. Coming down is always the worse most boring part, on top of the impact on the knees. 3hrs later and we are all back, quick change, and beers and typical Italian region food.


Some great friends made. Some great sights and visions were seen. Memories that I will never forget. Bivacco Luca V, you have been a 24hr pleasure.