This summer saw the return of the Alpine Meet to the WMC calendar. We visited the Italian Dolomites for two weeks, between the 5th and 19th of July.
The picturesque Olympia Campsite a mile or so north of Cortina.
Rob was the first to arrive, he beat us all and put us to shame using only his Pedal Cycle for transport and setting up his camp on Thursday. Chris Pearson arrived late afternoon Friday with Stan and me just ten minutes behind. Carol and Guy turned up on Saturday evening having driven the entire way non stop from the UK.
It was a warm balmy evening, Due to the driving I was feeling more dozy than usual and got my tent in a tangle, meanwhile the local mosquitoes were enjoying my company and making the most of their opportunity, almost bringing me to the verge of ordering a blood transfusion. That night we all enjoyed the pizzas and wine in the camp restaurant. Carol and Guy turned entire way non stop from the UK.
Guy, Stan and Carol leaving me on the Col Rosa and heading off up into the unknown
The Limestone Cliffs all around were spectacular and I remember spending the first few days gazing up at them going “Oh my. Oh my” a bit like Toad in Wind in the Willows.
I chickened out of the first big expedition, a Via Ferrata above the camp site and walked back to camp alone, it seems I made the right decision as they didn’t get back to camp until around ten that night.
For a day off Carol, Stan and I did an easy tourist via ferrata called Barbara.
Brave members of the WMC willing to sacrifice themselves defending the WW1 trenches in the snow and rain
Another day, don’t ask which day it’s all a bit of a blur, we set off to the Falzarego Pass to do the Lagazuoi Tunnels. We took the cable car to the top of the mountain, where there had been fresh snow overnight, and then walked down paths to explore WW1 trenches and tunnels.
I have made light of our time in the tunnels but it brings home to one the terrible weather and conditions those men worked, fought and died in, in defence of their countries, homes and families. They didn’t have the luxury of our clothing and equipment. How many of them fell to their deaths because they didn’t have the means to clip on to safe cables? This is a horror we should all remain aware of and make sure that we never allow ourselves to forget.
Stan preparing to leave for the second half of our walk, our car is parked on the opposite side of this fantastic mountain range.
Stan and I had a great day out walking round the spectacular, high level, but very easy tourist path that circumnavigates the TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO. The walk took about six hours past three refuges on a wide path, most of it wheelchair friendly. Quite a hard day out took Stan and I from the top of the Tre Croci (three Crosses) Pass, up to the Refuge Vandelli, and past the beautiful blue water of the Lac del Sorapis.
Then on up and round a spectacular mountain traverse, over another col to the top of a nasty snow and scree filled gully, before taking us through lovely meadows and woodland and back to the car.
Although I am pleased with the photos they don’t come anywhere near conveying the beauty and atmosphere of this place. I would like to go back for another session sometime.
P.S. My book is still for sale and can be purchased here for £3.50 proceeds go to Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team.