Wow, the Dolomites are beautiful. Ok, I guess that shouldn’t be such a surprise. Visiting the Dolomites has been on my list for years, but still I was stunned.
Our first pass was Staulanza. From the Piave River down at 420m in Longarone we climbed up to 1760m at the pass. We took our time. It wasn’t hard. The most disturbing thing is that there’s a 5km section of road between Igne and Mezzocanale that is closed to cyclists. The alternative (via Pieve di Cadore) is over 50km longer with an extra 1300m of climbing. WTF? We rode the 5km illegally and didn’t get caught.
Above Forno di Zoldo we started getting views of the high mountains.
The campground at Palafavera (still on the Zoldo side of the pass) was perhaps the nicest paid campsite of the trip. The sites were a bit spread out, and there was a car-free section (yay!).
Our first day was a rain day. On the second day I climbed Civetta via the long and famous Ferrata degli Alleghesi. This ended up being the longest via ferrata I’ve ever done and the highest I got in the Dolomites (3200m).
I reached the start of the steep section after walking a bit over 2.5 hours.
That got my attention. The rest of the ascent was less steep.
These are the only other people I saw. They were moving very slowly.
Crossing a snowfield (twice) on the descent may have been the crux of the route. What a fun climb.
From Staulanza it was down to Caprile at about 1000m and then up to Fedaia at about 2000m.
The last 5km of Fedaia are steep — the steepest paved 5km in the Dolomites, we were told. This section featured at the end of the queen stage in this year’s Giro d’Italia five weeks before we were there.
On the other side we were just below Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Dolomites. We had talked about doing a via ferrata there but decided against it since we weren’t carrying crampons.
We descended to Canazei and stayed a couple days at the campground there.
This time our rain day was day two. On day one we rode over to the gondola at Ciampac and for 38 euro avoided 600m of climbing and descending. I know, I know — getting lazy.
By taking the gondola it meant we could take our time on the Via Ferrata Financiers at Colac, another super fun via ferrata.
A nicer summit than Civetta, I thought, even though Colac (2700m) is a fair bit lower.
On the way down we stopped here:
to rest, eat, and enjoy the view of the steep south face of Marmolada. Just four minutes after I took that photo, a serac collapsed on Marmolada’s north side, killing 11 climbers. We heard nothing when it happened but started seeing multiple helicopters before we even got back to the gondola. The rescue operation was based only 200m from where we were camping in Canazei. It seemed like one helicopter after another for the rest of our stay there.
Passo Sella at 2200m was our highest of the trip, but Canazei’s already at 1500m so it wasn’t such a long climb. It’s spectacular. I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Wow! What scenery! Just wow!
Yes, pretty amazing, isn’t it? I am awed looking at the photos, and I took them less than three months ago! The Dolomites are stunning.