August 6, 2018

Dolomites 2018 #7 - Tre Cime (and Venice)

Two days left, time to hammer! A little bit of rain downtime in the previous two days was probably a good thing. The forecast didn't look great on Sunday but we just packed our rain jackets and figured if we get dumped on - oh well! Our via ferrata book described a route from Misurina to Tre Cime (Senterioa Bonacossa traverse) that seemed like more of a protected hike than a true climbing route, so we didn't bother bringing our ferrata kits. That ended up being the right call. It was a really interesting and beautiful hike. When we got to Rifugio Auronzo the weather was still great (and it seemed like the forecast had possible scared off some of the crowds) so we decided to hike the Tre Cime loop. It was simply a wonderful day, and to save our tired legs we took the bus back down to Misurina.

On the last morning of the trip we ate breakfast early and headed straight back to Tre Cime. We climbed one last fun via ferrata on a tower near Rifugio Lorenzetti (same place we stopped for the beer in the photo above on the previous afternoon). What a perfect cap to the trip! (or so we thought... we weren't done yet...)


On the drive down to Venice we stopped in Auronzo di Cadore and walked around the lake for a while. Again, the colors of these lakes!!!

And then the final finale. We were staying at a hotel near the Venice airport (and near a park so we had a place to run the next morning before our flight home). We had no real plans to actually go to Venice, but when we checked in at the hotel, the girl at the desk told us it was a 10 minute tram ride to the city and the tram picked up right down the street from our hotel. Too good to be true! So we quickly dropped off our bags and headed straight into Venice to wander around for a few hours. Such a neat and unique city - it would have been a shame to miss it. 

This was the perfect day to end a perfect trip!

We keep saying that the next time we go to Europe, we need to go somewhere other than the Dolomites. I have a scenario when we do the Mont Blanc circuit and Haute Route back to back. I'm also intrigued by the Bavarian Alps. But man, the Dolomites are just so hard to beat. 

August 5, 2018

Dolomites 2018 #6 - Monte Piana, Lago di Braies, Lago di Misurina

The streak of high pressure, sunshine days finally came to an end. We were spending our last 3 mountain nights of the trip in Misurina, so we were just hoping for at least one day with clear skies at Tre Cime.

With rain in the forecast for Friday afternoon we decided to hike up to Monte Piana instead doing a ferrata route that would leave us more exposed to the elements. This ended up being a very cool hike - the top of the mountain was a key front during WW1 and is essentially an open-air war museum. We explored for a while and then made our way down as thunder and lightning got a little too close for comfort.

Rain was in the forecast again on Saturday, and we realized that Lago di Braies was very close to Misurina, so we decided to finally take an easy day and go there for the morning. Another stunning lake with a color that is hard to describe.

Lago di Misurina was a good base for the end of the trip. After our "easy" recovery days, we were re-charged for two more days in the mountains.

August 4, 2018

Dolomites 2018 #5 - Lago di Sorapiss

This is one of the best loops in the Dolomites. We figured the lake would be cool, but we underestimated that the ENTIRE hike has amazing views.

We started from Passo Tre Croce and walked on a nice trail out to the rifugio and lake. The color was just unreal. After taking it in for a while, we took a less popular trail heading north into a big cirque between the mountains. The views were stunning - down to Misurina and Tre Cime, over to the Cristallo group... we did a lot of stopping, sitting, and staring. And once we left the lake, we didn't really see many people the rest of the day. We did see a couple Ibex, up close and scaling cliffs.

I would repeat this day if I ever got the chance to. It was that good!