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Lunching at Lago Misurina

10 Aug

Lunching at Lago Misurina

This is where we celebrated the end of our six day journey from west to east in the Dolomites. Lago Misurina is about a 20-minute drive from Cortina. A beautiful still, glassy lake surrounded by high peaks and tall fir trees.


We ate at that inn right around the bend.

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Back at Hotel Menardi we bade farewell to each other, our trio through the mountains.


Back at the hotel I sat out on that lovely green back lawn and let the fresh breezes and the sun relax my bones. I thought about my kids and how much I wanted them to be here to share the experience with me.


Happy feet.


Just gazing up at the sky congratulating myself on completing my hike.


Then one more delicious dinner in the hotel dining room before packing for an early departure. Next stop:  Venice.



Mountain Climbers

10 Aug

Mountain Climbers

They challenge the mountains in ways most people would never attempt. They get everyone’s attention. When someone spots mountain climbers, everyone’s eyes become riveted on their maneuvers. I could barely see these guys with the naked eye, but when I put the zoom lens on the camera, I came up with these shots. I can’t believe how they cling to that shear rock face. Tre Cime is a favorite spot for mountain climbing because it is easily accessible.

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Making my way back to Rifugio Auronzo and the car. I had time to have a cup of tea while waiting for the others to arrive back by the alternate route.

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Going Solo

10 Aug

Going Solo

After I split with the group, I headed back on my own. I stomped my way through the thick snow cover to this lovely glacial pond and managed to capture the clouds’ reflection in the pool.

Back once more across the scree slides.

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A helicopter rescue.

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Rifugio Lavaredo.


Mountain landscapes don’t get more dramatic than this.

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I’m glad I wasn’t there when that piece of mountain fell down.



“I Was There” Postcards

10 Aug

You always have to have some photos that include you, so that you can prove that you were there. Here are mine, taken at the base of Tre Cime from an angle that shows the three peaks.

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See the person climbing up that snow laden scree. Some people do that.


The tour buses arrived.


Tre Cime di Lavaredo.



Follow the Scree

8 Aug

Follow the Scree

Though this walk was more or less flat most of the way, it was still very long. I was always lagging behind the others, because I was the one with the camera. Around each bend or behind each boulder I found a new perspective on this fantastic landscape. The plan was for the three of us to walk the length of the Tre Cime past the rifugio. At the halfway point we would split. Marion and Vladimir would hike around the far side and I would return the way we came. The reason for that was that I have a fear of heights in exposed areas, and the far side had a number of exposed areas. I was happy with this plan, because I could take my time and make detours to take the photos I wanted. I could even take the time to change to a zoom lens. Behold the giants of the earth.


This was a beautiful green plateau with two monuments and in the morning it was a beautiful contrast to the blue hue of the mountains in the distance.

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Tre Cime was also a battleground during World War I, and here are some gravestones of soldiers who never came home.

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I’m feeling on top of the world.


In this rocky landscape tiny flowers still found purchase and provided a dash of color among the rocks.

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We would climb up there next.


We approached Rifugio Lavaredo.

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This was our view as we sat outside to have something to drink.


There had been heavy snows that season, and you can see the high wall of snow along the path.

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Upward, and we left the rifugio behind.

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Another beautiful Alpine wildflower in the rocks.  My only regret was that I never saw an Edelweiss in the wild. They cultivate them and in stores you can see them growing in pots, but it’s not the same thing.


One view of Tre Cime.



One Very Last Hike

8 Aug

One Very Last Hike Day 6! The last day in the Dolomites and the last time to hike with my orange daypack and purple hiking poles. Our destination…Tre Cime di Lavaredo (oder Drei Zinnen, auf Deutsch). English translation from the Italian is the very innocuous sounding “three peaks”, while the translation from the German is “three battlements”. The latter is definitely the more descriptive term, and considering the landscape I traversed and viewed that day, the more appropriate one. We began early in the day because Tre Cime is a VERY popular hiking area, and we wanted to beat the crowds and get a parking place. We found one near Rifugio Auronzo. DSC_0497

There was another parking area below and the first of the tour buses. DSC_0499

We got a good view of Croda Rossa, named for the bright reddish color of the rock. DSC_0500

From here we could look down on beautiful Lago Misurina where we would lunch later in the day. DSC_0501

The parking lot was filling up fast in the early morning. On this mountain the erosion lines were very pronounced.


Then I saw my hike for today. The trail sliced through that slide of scree coming off of the towering monoliths known as Tre Cime. If you can see the tiny white rectangle near the right hand margin, that

is Rifugio Lavaredo. We would walk a little beyond that to the far side of the Tre Cime.





Looking down the scree slide from the trail.

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More Lagazuoi

4 Aug

More Lagazuoi

At the Rifugio I had the time to change to a zoom lens to capture more detail in the surrounding mountains. Here are a few of the photos.

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Top of the World…Lagazuoi

2 Aug

Day 5: Lagazuoi

Here I am on the Rifugio Lagazuoi porch, 2752 meters above sea level. This is one of the highest and most precariously situated mountain inns in the world. They say on a good day you can see as far as Venice. Well, we didn’t see Venice, but the visibility was very good.

Up early in the morning on Day 5 to pack up and move our gear to our next and final location in Cortina d’Ampezzo. But we had much on our agenda before we arrived. First Marion drove us over Falzareggo Pass to the cable car that would carry us aloft to Lagazuoi. The weather had been bad all week at Lagazuoi and we lucked out with a beautiful morning.

Stopping to take a photograph at Passo Falzareggo.


At the base of the cable car looking up Lagazuoi. This photo seems foreshortened and doesn’t indicate how high the mountain station is.


Before we boarded.


Up we go.

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Here are some of the World War I tunnels.

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The mountain station. Cortina wants the Winter Olympics again in 2019.


On the porch of the Rifugio looking at Tofana and the cable car station down the hill. Notice the solar panels on the roof.


This is why I wanted to come to Lagazuoi. The thing that looks like a thumb sticking up on the left is Cinque Torri, another landmark in the Dolomites. To the right and upward are the peaks of Averau and Nuvolau. Behind that the diagonal formation that looks like a sinking Titanic is the Croda di Lago. Our hike for the day was from Cinque Torri to the base of Averau and back.




Pralongià: It’s All Downhill from Here (5)

31 Jul


Marion told us over lunch that we would be walking all the way back down into Corvara rather than taking the cable car. This was probably the longest hike I had ever made…between 10 and 12 miles.

The way down was marked by fields of wildflowers, most notably these voluptuous yellow globe flowers.

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Sassongher in the foreground, Puez in the background.


Now we could begin to see some of the houses of Corvara.

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When we hit pavement, we knew we were almost back.

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We peered into a nicely kept Churchyard.


And a lovely kitchen garden.


That night we went to dinner in the town of Ojes (pronounced Oh, yes). The group included Marion Posch and her boyfriend Vincenzo, the Russian Vladimir, and me.



Pralongià: Are We ThereYet? (4)

31 Jul


Much to my chagrin Rifugio Pralongià was not our stopping place for lunch. We walked on. The small green peak in the near distance was the Col di Lana. Once more I photographed the Sella behind an unused chair lift. Some of the lifts operate only in ski season.


As we began our descent we passed this meeting of bikers.


Marion on the trail before the Marmolada.


The starkness of the Sella offset by the exuberance of yellow globe flowers.


Kids hiking up the trail. They made it seem so easy.


And a lone mountain biker.

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Yes, here we are at Rifugio Marmotta. This is where we finally sat and ate lunch on our way down from the plateau.


Hearty food. That’s what they serve. This was an appetizer of Speck (bacon).


Looking down to the remainder of our way. This had to have been a good 10 to 11 mile hike.


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