Before this adventure, I did loads of homework on the locations of the hikes which were listed in our itinerary. I tried to find gpx files, read other peoples trip reports and looked at photos. For me this is all a part of the anticipation. I did not though read the significance of the locations or the history of the areas. Today's hike put lots of things into perspective for me. While I was appreciating this trip, immensely enjoying everything about it, today's hike confirmed how fortunate I am in life to be able to do what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want. For this I am truly grateful!
Once again the church bells ring loud and clear at 6:30am and I take that as my reminder it's time to get ready to begin another extraordinary day in this peace of paradise in the Dolomites of Italy. Once again too, the forecast reads wear sunscreen, bring lots of water and sport the shorts. Once again also, our ride picks us up at our front door at 8:30 for a 30 drive whisking us off to the playground.
Today's goal is to reach the summit of Monte Piana and explore the plateau. To do this we first had to make an unexpected creek crossing. A portion of the trail and the bridge had been washed out by a flash flood. We accomplished the crossing, next we attacked the steep climb and then took on the switchbacks. We arrived at a wide open space with a 360 degree view. The Tre Cime were directly in front of us. I zoomed in on the hutte and could see a few people checking out the place. We had a lovely long lunch break here.
It was time to hit the summit of Monte Piana so we added on a little more elevation gain. This place is full of war history. Note to self: need to follow up on the historical facts. We meandered around the area working our way to the summit cross and gingerly stepping as we got closer to the edge. Peeking over the edge gave me butterflies in my stomach.
We left the summit and hiked almost the entire length of the plateau to where we would intersect the trail and begin the descent. Part of it was off trail, then on trail, then on gravel, then road. Our ride was waiting for us. What another incredible day in paradise!
our hike began by walking along Lago Antorno
It was a calm, hot, humid morning.
the calm afforded us mountain reflections in Lago Antorno
views began right from the get-go
We crossed the road which is the entrance to the Nature Park with the Tre Cime being the main attraction up there. We veered off to hike through the meadow. We would be leaving the vehicle and people traffic well behind.
view from the meadow
notice the switchbacks up the side middle left
We would eventually be up behind and beyond this wall!
passing by a pretty place on our way to dine
right in front of us is Tre Cime de Lavaredo (three chimneys)
Our guide pointed out the spot where I put an orange star.
I zoomed in to see up close Rifugio Locatelli
an Italian Dolomite crocus
our lunch spot with a front row seat to a prime time view
of course I needed a jumping photo proving I am high on life
We stood as close to the edge here as safely possible and I could see bunker entrances on the sides and also locations where the holes were cut into the mountain side to place guns.
We headed towards the summit of Monte Piana.
looking straight down from the summit to the valley below
My Monte Piana summit shot!
looking over at the trail where we were earlier in the day
crosses and monuments and signs
Our guide lead the way through the snow making sure it was flat ground underneath.
descending from Monte Piana
one last photo of this peace of paradise called the Dolomites