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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hiking in the Dolomites

I just realized that at the rate I've been going by the time I finish my Italy recaps, we will be back in Italy! Andiamo!

We ended up doing a few good hikes while we were staying in Castelrotto. On our first full day there we decided to do an all day hike up to a plateau that was essentially "behind" the town. When we were about 1/2 way to the top we saw the first dusting of snow...

And at 2/3 of the way up that dusting turned to a few inches...

Finally, we made it to the top.

Just in time for the storm clouds to come in...

We debated hiking back down to town, but when the snow started falling I went running towards the gondola and didn't look back.

Once we were back down at the base it was an easy walk back to Castelrotto.

The next day we decided to do a lighter hike, this time it was a half day hike that started a mile or so down the road from Castelrotto. As usual I let Brian set the route as he is one with the mountain where as I am more concerned about having enough snacks.

The hike started off easy enough as we passed by a beautiful lake an headed into the woods. We ran into less snow than we did the day before, even though I am pretty sure that we hiked higher and longer.

As usual my stomach was dictating our pace and just before noon it was telling me that it was time to break for lunch. We trudged on as there was a mountain hut not too far away that would be a good place to stop. We had heard that all of the huts were closed for the season (thank god, otherwise you can bet this blog post would be about our 3 day overnight hike to the top of the highest dolomite mountain) but when we got to the clearing where the hut was located we found it buzzing with activity! Turns out the mountain hunt that we came across is a restaurant and open longer than the average hut to accommodate hungry day hikers. We already brought our lunch with us but we stopped to enjoy the view.

Finally it was time for the final push to the top.

And boy was it worth it.

And then it was time to hike down...and down...and across...and then down some more.

Brian blames the map for not being topographical, I kept my mouth shut. We learned one valuable lesson that day...what goes up must come down, and then go up again. Every time we thought we were on the home stretch we encountered another steep climb. I was pretty sure my feet were bleeding. Tears almost ran down my face when we finally spotted the car park.

Dessert was well deserved.


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