Category Archives: The Dolomites

Hiking in the Dolomites, Italy

What an incredible week! Hiking in the Dolomites mountain range in north-eastern Italy has been an amazing experience that I definitely recommend. We’ve managed to tick off a little bit of everything from the jagged peaks of the Latemar mountains to the yellow fields of Val Gardena, the steep trails of the Black Horn and the majestic Vajolet Towers of the Rosengarten. Aside from a few showers the weather was kind to us and we enjoyed staying in our sleepy little town of Carano (not to mention devouring fresh Italian food every day). I don’t know what I liked best about the Dolomites (other than the great company I enjoyed of course) but the jagged peaks, mountain lakes and yellow fields certainly spring to mind. The worst thing was probably the crazy Italian drivers who roam the roads of Trentino and South Tyrol, the road works that got in our way more than a few times weren’t so great either. A week of intensive climbing certainly took it out of me but at least my body is run down in a good way, or so I keep telling myself. If you love the great outdoors then why not get yourself to north-eastern Italy and check out the Dolomites in person, you won’t regret it! Man I hate it when I sound like a travel brochure, feel free to stay at home and do nothing, that’s cool too you know.

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Rosengarten Panoramas

Here’s a few panorama photos I took from a high point in the Rosengarten mountains, possibly near Rosengartenspitze. The view was incredible, especially with the dark clouds hovering around.

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Climbing in the Rosengarten

Climbing in the Rosengarten group was an awesome way to finish my Dolomites experience. It was probably the most physically demanding day but it also offered some of the best rewards. Those who are persistent in the Rosengarten mountains will find spiky peaks, shimmering lakes, panoramic views and a unique pink shade of rock caused by the presence of a mineral named dolomite. We started out by hiking to Rifugio Preuss before climbing upwards to the Vajolet Towers where a beautiful lake awaited us. Over the ridge there was another peak to investigate so naturally I went off exploring to see what was over that next rise. Lucky I did because it turned out to be a scenic panorama of epic proportions, the whole of Italy seemed to be at my feet. I’m not 100% sure but I presume this was at or near the Rosengartenspitze, a healthy 2981m above sea level. We got sprinkled by some light rain but were lucky to avoid bigger downpours, some of the dark clouds hanging around looked downright nasty! After enjoying the views I began the steep descent back to Rifugio Preuss. From here we took a trail that stayed close to the rocky walls above us, eventually leading us back to our car for the drive home and a well earned rest.

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Vajolet Towers and Mountain Lake

Sometimes you hit the jackpot when hiking by stumbling across something truly special. Seeing the Vajolet Towers and the gorgeous mountain lake that accompanies them in the Rosengarten group of the Dolomites was one of those exact moments. We were unsure about climbing the steep trail from Rifugio Preuss, especially in unpredictable weather but once curiosity took hold we were always going to give it a go. The spiked peaks that give the Vajolet Towers their name soon became apparent and that only sped up the process as we continued onwards and upwards. Once we got to the lake and the full scene emerged in front of us I went crazy with my camera (as I do), taking shots from every possible angle. They came out great and yet it still doesn’t feel like they do the area justice, it’s hard to capture the feeling as high cloud swoops in and the lighting changes dramatically from minute to minute.

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Dramatic Mountain Clouds

Mountain clouds just don’t get any more dramatic than this so I took the opportunity to capture them on camera. Finding the spooky cross to frame the shot near Rifugio Preuss was an added bonus.

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Taking a Break at Rifugio Preuss

Today is our final climb in the Dolomites and it promises to be a beauty as we explore the incredible Rosengarten group. After an early start we made our way to Rifugio Preuss for a break where I proceeded to take a billion photos from every direction. When the view is this good they can you really blame me?

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Val Gardena – A Sea of Yellow

Today we got in the car and cruised over to Ortisei to check out the legendary Val Gardena. If you’re lazy you can take a gondola up and walk from there and in the end I caved and took that option as there was a lot of hiking left to do and only one day in Val Gardena to do it. It’s gorgeous up in the mountains and the sea of yellow that surrounds you as you walk is truly special. We pushed on through, higher into the mountains past a delightful little church proudly waving the South Tyrol flag and deeper into the forest. It was a tough schedule so the sight of Selva and then St Cristina brought welcome relief as we made our way back to Ortisei. A hiking trip in the Dolomites just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to these parts.

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See You at the Crossroads

Anyone else remember that song by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony? Of course you do, it’s a freaking classic! Segway to this photo of my ‘Bone Thugs’ at the Val Gardena crossroads in South Tyrol, straight up gangsta they are.

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Climbing the Black Horn

Above our house in Carano towers an almighty mountain called the Black Horn, which immediately makes me think of the “Murder Horn” episode from the Simpsons, the one with the Powersauce bars, I’m pretty sure you know it so quit looking at me like that. Anyway, as an afternoon challenge of devilish proportions we set out to tame this wild beast before it got dark. It was a brutal ascent, the weather was gloomy and it was freezing at the top, but it was conquered.

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An Overgrown Football Field

Something tells me they don’t play much football on this field anymore and that something is the overgrown mass of plants that cover every inch of it. I’m not sure why they even have a football field up here at all, it’s halfway up a mountain!

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A Walk in the Forest

On day 2 of our Dolomites adventure in Italy we thought we’d head up river for some more hiking, only the road was cut off due to a landslide (or something like that). So instead of hiking, we decided to go hiking, just somewhere else. We found another spot further back that allowed us to cross over the river and enjoy a gentle walk in the forest down to a lake. Do I remember the names of the hiking trail, river or lake? No, I don’t. Does that make me a bad person? Probably but I’m just going to have to live with myself aren’t I.

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Latemar Group Panoramas

Here’s some panorama photos from our hiking expedition in the Latemar group. Just a great day in the mountains.

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Climbing in the Latemar Mountains

Today we got our Dolomites adventure underway with a spectacular climb in the Latemar mountains. The summit was incredible and while the name eludes me, I do know that it was near the Torre di Pisa refuge. The jagged limestone rocks that protrude into the sky were impressive and while the trail got a little tricky when we hit the snow line, it wasn’t too bad for a first day climb. The weather hung in there so we couldn’t have asked for a better first day of hiking in the Dolomites.

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Waking Up in Carano

You know it’s going to be a good day when you wake up to a scene like this. It’s our first day of hiking in the Dolomites so good weather was exactly what the doctor ordered.

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Rolling Hills in Trentino

We’ve settled into our home away from home in Carano so it’s time to take the old camera for a whirl in the countryside outside Cavalese. Some of the rolling hills are really beautiful here in Trentino, in fact I’m going to give them my coveted rolling hills seal of approval. Congrats Trentino, you’ve earned it.

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