The mountain guides’ bench
Sesto, late 19th century. Alpinists from all over the world flocked to the mountaineering village to scale the striking mountains of the Sesto Dolomites. Who would have thought that in this time a modest wooden bench in front of the “Zur Post” guesthouse would have served as an improvised tourist office? Here, on the “mountain guides’ bench”, the most capable climbers in Sesto waited for “outsiders” who regularly arrived on the post coach from the railway station in San Candido. Dolomite tours were discussed on the bench, many a heroic first ascent was touted, and guiding fees were negotiated. Once, it was said, a guest wanted to book a hike on the easily climbable Monte Elmo on the Carnic ridge with mountain guide Johann Forcher. However to the amazement of the guest, who was ready with his money, he turned him down, since he did not know the way there. The imposing summits on the opposite side of the valley were probably more his cup of tea.