Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Dolomites

Lance was part of the group that ventured to the Dolomites in Italy and enjoyed the hospitality of the Italian Alpine Club - Pisa. Lance asked that I post the following on his behalf:

The highlight of the whole trip for me was the walk from Refugio Vajolet to Refugio Bolzano.
The day started with the walk up to the saddle, I was feeling real good,the weather was cool and I was trying to copy Emilio's slow methodical walk which is really efficient.
Then the highlight, the mad scramble down the scree slope and across the snow patches. I was feeling fit, my knees were not hurting and I felt completely in control and on a high. Poetry in motion. Then around the corner of the bluff and the slow, steep climb up the valley, winding our way up to where we had lunch at the track branch.
Then the weather started to close in and I noticed the Italians putting on their wet weather gear. There was no command they just knew. When in Rome do as the Romans do. So I covered up and thought that we were in for a bit of fun. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the walk to Refugio Bolzano, the cloud was down, it rained, it even hailed. My hands were cold, my feet were wet. I was walking by myself and thinking that this was what it was all about. This was living, this was real walking.
The next day it snowed. It was not the fluffy trickle out of the sky snow , it was "go outside and blow you over" snow. Later in the afternoon it backed off, the snowing stopped and it sort of cleared. Still blowing a chilly Antarctic breeze except we were in the wrong hemisphere and with six inches of snow covering the surrounding peaks and countryside.
Some of us rugged up and climbed a nearby peak about 3/4 hours walk. Once again I felt on top of the world, which we were. Freezing cold but surprisingly enough, not unbearably so. Even to the extent that I wandered around on the snow packed hills, long after the others sought out the warmth and protection of the Refugio. Trapped with my own thoughts and having a ball. It was proof that when you go walking anywhere in the outdoors, you are not in control of nature you must walk with it.

Thankyou Emilio and Sandro.
Thankyou Dolomiti.