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Jim

Northern Dolomites

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Where: Dolomites, northern Italy

When: July 3-30,

 

Seattle to Amsterdam to Venice, then up to Arraba via the trusty Fiat Punto. The first day was wet, which allowed for jet lag naps and time to pick up via feratte gear and scope out the week’s plan. The first several days’ weather was unsettled so the pattern would be get up early and get on a climb or via ferrate then hustle over to the nearest hut for lunch, and then hike down, sometimes in the drizzle and fog. Odd thing the huts. Excellent food and drink and it just cracked me up to get into the pattern of having cappuccino and strudel or some polenta and grappa after completing a route! Got some early climbs in at Cinque Torre, (wild formations) and ticked of some great VF routes, which is a whole weird thing by itself. Some of the VF routes go around or through old fort remnants way the heck up on peaks – amazing! Got up a few with close to 2,000 elevation gain on a variety of rock, cable, and stemples. Saw folks of all ages, from 6 to 70 on these routes, but saw no Americans, other than two, during the first 3 wks of the trip.

 

Very strong German/Austrian influence in this part of Italy and skills in German would have done better than Italian. Similar with the food such as wurst, polenta, goulash, strudel, etc. All of course was great.

 

In the second week I got on an 11 pitch climb at Falzarego Pass. Which was the longest route we got on. I found the Dolomite in this area a bit tricky to protect, but very solid, so you had to run it out a bit sometimes. I think the route was 6a or so, felt like 5.8+ to me at the two overhanging cruxes. Topping out on this we had to take the Austrian Troop Path down the peak. This is a remnant from WWI when the Austrians and Italians were jockeying for position on and through the peak via tunnels and ramps. Steep paths, great exposure, and one suspension bridge crossing – all of which I can’t imagine ever existing in the US without attracting a flock of lawyers. During this week we used Corvara and Cannazai as bases.

 

In our third week we returned the car to Venice airport and got back to the mountains via train and bus to the town of Ortiesi. From here we did 7 days of hiking that ended at the Tre Cime area. This was great, with a hut to stay at each evening (made reservations earlier in the trip) and with stops at Malgas (herders’ huts) for fresh milk and strudel. We had perfect weather for the entire walk, which had a couple of days with 3,000 ft gains. Bagged a couple of scramble peaks along the way and discovered Prunia – which became my after dinner liquor of choice. Also found some great bouldering and we were lucky enough to see a herd of 30 chamois cruising over a summit.

 

We opted for a week of southern Italian culture and had four days in Florence and three in Venice before heading home. Ate, visited museums and many churches, drank great wine, and took in the scenery.

 

 

 

Gear:

 

Harness

Helmet

Shoes

Small rack

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Did you see Otzi?

 

Yes, and he doesn't look a day over 5,000.

 

Had some trouble uploading files to the gallery. Will try later. showphoto.php?photo=12948&sort=1&cat=all&page=1

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kewl cool.gif that makes two people I know who saw Otzi this past summer. In fact my friend Peter liked him so much he named a new fleece hat in his product line the "Otzi". smile.gif

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Not only have I seen Otzi, I've been to the discovery site:

 

8974Ice_Man_Monument.JPG

 

the_finger.gif

 

That's my Dad in front of the monument...

Edited by jkeller

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Rifugio Biella on the left and Croda Rossa on the right. Day 6 of the northern Dolomites traverse.

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Oh! It is so small I didn't recognize there was a building. Here it is up close. Check out the slabs in the background!

 

8974Leaving_Refugio_Beilla-med.JPG

 

I think my dad and I took the same trip you did, but in 2002. We went from Ortezi to Cortina on the Alta Via (I forget which one).

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Sounds very similar. We also started at Ortezi and ended at the Tre Cime. I bypass the via ferrate on the ridge and soloed the slabs to the top - maybe 5.3.

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The slab from the bottom. 300ft walk up (almost) then climb crack to top.

 

1049DSCN0421-med.JPG

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Where: Dolomites, northern Italy

When: July 3-30,

In the second week I got on an 11 pitch climb at Falzarego Pass. Which was the longest route we got on. I found the Dolomite in this area a bit tricky to protect, but very solid, so you had to run it out a bit sometimes. I think the route was 6a or so, felt like 5.8+ to me at the two overhanging cruxes. Topping out on this we had to take the Austrian Troop Path down the peak. This is a remnant from WWI when the Austrians and Italians were jockeying for position on and through the peak via tunnels and ramps. Steep paths, great exposure, and one suspension bridge crossing – all of which I can’t imagine ever existing in the US without attracting a flock of lawyers.

Which route did you do? Just got back and did several of the easier climbs in that area (on Hexenstein, Piccolo Lagazuoi, and Tofana Di Rozes). The Dolomites are cool, as the rock is real featured. Makes route finding a bitch, though. The war remnants were interesting as well. We also climbed in the Sella group, trad and via ferrata ( the_finger.gif pope).

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Did you see Otzi?

 

Yes, and he doesn't look a day over 5,000.

 

Had some trouble uploading files to the gallery. Will try later. showphoto.php?photo=12948&sort=1&cat=all&page=1

 

A copy/paste of the image's URL without the image tags gets you:

 

cascadeclimbers gallery Message

This photo is no longer in our database

 

BTW, where are they keeping ol' Otzi now? I remember a big brouhaha over whether he was found in Italy or Austria, and which country had jurisdiction over where his remains were to be situated. Any news?

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