Pale in S. Martino

In the extensive playground of Dolomites we wandered and climbed surrounded by everlasting guardians. Some were stoney, others just fell in love with our shoes.

At the end of July a summer heatwave was starting to bake us, noon hours were forbidden for the sake of self-conservation, nights were sweaty and coming from the Highway to sweat doing anything other than hiking felt like a hellish conviction.

Luckily, the first rush of summer vacation was coming as well and brought me together with the long-lasting model to the colossal-awe-rocky-friggin’ cool Dolomites of S. Martino.

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DSCF7119-1I really can’t find a quick description of how amazing that place is, the colossal monoliths are like shot into the ground from above and all around there are plenty of other spot-like formations of such structures in the far distance. The wind blowing through these spiers comes fresh and howling finally relieving the stored heat from the city life.

We arrived at Passo Rolle on our first day of adventure, and hiked up to the “Cristo Pensante”, a statue made of white marble representing Christ at the feet of a Steel cross, wondering in the distance.
These places are famous because of their easy accessibility, thus a huge number of families with babies and pensioneros were assaulting the trail and the easy top, so we hid for a quick meal behind the uppermost crest, where we met the first of many locals.

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After this warm-up round we headed to the real destination of our day, the Volpi al Mulaz hut. The trail for this trip districates firstly in a green valley, then after a steep rise the final stretch opens up within a small valley.

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Here we saw the return from work of an average marmot-joe, probably heading home from a stressful day of moss eating at the office.

DSCF6776His wifey awaited for his return at the footsteps of their hole home and greeted him with a kiss.

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Rising further we encountered a lazy worker, sleeping at his desk. Our steps woke him up, so he pretended to be on the guard but as soon as the bell rang, he flashed out from his position and back home.

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The hut is cozy and food is great, we had a delicious plate of gulasch and after that we decided to stay outside waiting for the flaming sunset.

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I was wondering how cool it should be to see these spiers from above and in that exact moment a plane flew out from this cathedral piercing the deep blue sky.

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On the next day we headed to the second hut (Rosetta) hitting an “Iron path”, or Via Ferrata.

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When chains, stairs and bolts come finally to an end the lunar scenario slowly turns into a greener valley with just some melancholic tower to keep an eye on the horizon.

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Strangelt enough, it seems like there are plenty of stoney guardians overlooking these valleys. Try to find the face in the rock from the next photo.

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On our third day we reached the last hut, Pradidali.

From this spot several great climbs starts and we couldn’t resist the thrill of testing our endurance with a quick one after reaching the hut.

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We climbed right in front of the famous Pala di S. Martino, overlooking the red bivouac.

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On the last day we reached again yhe Rosetta hut, where we found a friend who expressed a very physical attraction toward my feet and shoes…

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The latest heat and concomitance with a peak of work have made it impossible to try something equally magnificent, so these have been days of planning and training for the next adventure, which will be less alpin-ish but wilder than usual.
Heat the engines, right now we landing over the Arctic Circle for the first time!

Stay tuned

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