Another stellar week in the Italian Dolomites! Dan and I hiked a good portion of the Alta Via 1 trek, staying at several stunning alpine huts along the way. My favorite was Rifugio Lavarella – great food, relaxing ambiance, pleasant staff, and a traditional Finnish sauna to relax your muscles at the end of a long day’s hike.
Exploring a bit off the beaten track, we hiked up to a high point above the Lavarella hut. A small rock rolled across the trail in front of me, so I glanced uphill. Nothing. Curious, I thought. It didn’t seem like somewhere I would see rockfall. Something would have had to kick it to get it rolling. I stopped again, and looked more intently this time. After a moment, I saw something move. Chamois. First just one, hiding in its stillness. Then a second appeared, blotting out the sun – and casting a perfect silhouette. Then a third. They skipped up the ridgeline faster even than Ueli Steck – and with one last glance back at us, they were gone. But not before I got a few postcard shots of their charming, distinctive outline along a striking blue backdrop.
The next day, we watched a world-class rescue on a peak we hiked by. A climber had fallen, and within an hour, he had been plucked by a helicopter and flown down to town. Impressive technical rescue teams here.
This week, we are back in town for some day hikes to cover some of the highlights of the region we didn’t see on Alta Via 1.