I’m a little rusty when it comes to hiking.
Ever since I’ve moved to Denmark my mountain encounters are few and far between. So, for my first hike in the Dolomites, I chose one where you hike downhill. All the way down.
To get to this hike I had to take a lift from the Falzarego pass up to the top of Lagazuoi mountain.
The lift took me up to 2751 m at Lagazuoi. 2751 doesn’t seem that much, but apparently, I’m a bit unused to meters when it comes to hiking. Most of my hiking in the past took place in the Northwestern United States and everything is done in feet over there. So, I didn’t realize that 2751 m is actually 9009 ft.
Well, the glacier gave it away! Once I saw the glaciers I realized that 2751 is actually a whole lot more than (give or take 5000 ft) what I was assuming.
Note to self: converting meters to feet is not the same as converting kilometers to miles.
The views at the top were absolutely spectacular! It’s amazing how different the world looks when you’re that far up.
What makes hiking in the Dolomites so unique is all the history that one hikes through. Much fighting of the Great War (World War I) was done in these mountains and much of the original arrangement has been preserved (or reconstructed) so that a hike is more than a chance to experience nature. It is also a walk through history.
The initial downhill climb was very steep. It wasn’t easy coming down, but I feel bad for anyone who had to make this climb in reverse. (^ here maybe you notice the dark skies… a sign of things to come)
There were a couple of glacier crossings! Not anything too crazy or super long, but still. I only brought hiking shoes – not boots – and I was sorry. (^ the clouds are looking even darker and thicker here, don’t they?)
Although the initial climb down (for almost an hour or so) is pretty much vegetation-free, these lovely flowers still cling to life! Alpine flowers are my favorite.
All was going well for the first hour or so. The clouds were gathering, but the predicted storms were supposed to be in the afternoon. So I wasn’t too worried…
I was sticking to my route (clearly marked on these rocks that appear from time to time) and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
Then, at around 11:22 (I know, because I looked at my watch, wondering if these were the predicted afternoon thunderstorms) thunder and lightning began. It started to rain. I pulled on my waterproof pants, put on my waterproof jacket and covered my backpack with my waterproof cover. I was good to go!
For the next two hours it hardly let up. As soon as it did, I’d pull out my phone (I lost my trusty waterproof camera during the move) to snap a couple of pictures hoping my phone wasn’t getting too wet.
There were lots of great historical markers along the route. I would have enjoyed them more if it wasn’t raining so much.
At one point I noticed that the trail was going to go through a tunnel. A tunnel means shelter.
I was very happy when I got to it. I had a nice break here and it did stop pouring for a little bit. Just long enough to fill me with false hope.
There were more ruins from World War I up ahead. Very cool.
I took a picture here and even though I was soaking wet (my waterproof attire wasn’t exactly 100% waterproof) I was so happy to be in this place!
With the break that I took this hike took about 3 hrs. Two of those hours were in the rain, thunder, and lightning. But I survived. It was awesome!
This hike: 9.56 km; 187 m of elevation gain (mostly downhill, but there were a few spots where I had to climb up a bit in order to go down); 2 hrs 26 min moving time
YTD Hiking Km: 14.81