Brenta Dolomites hiking, stories, history & adventure thread


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Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 25, 2014 - 05:10pm PT
Our group split into two parties for the first part of the day. The climbers did a higher Via Ferrata that involved a lot of ledge walking and the non-climbers hiked a lower trail to meet at Rif. Maria e Alberto al Brentei for lunch. Heidi & I took a break from ledge-walking and hiked with the hikers.

After the Via Ferrata group caught us, those that wanted a set-down lunch dined, while the rest of us chewed on hard rolls, cheese, & ham left over from breakfast, filtered some water, and took off to beat an expected storm over a high pass.

From just above the hut we could see our pass. It was a scenic hike to more Via Ferrata, then a snowfield that had been softened by the previous day's hail storm.

From the pass, our hut was close at hand, but I was real-happy to not have it storming.

Later that afternoon it snowed a little, Mauro borrowed some more climbing gear from his hutkeeper friends and he & Kim went out in the biting wind and light snow for a little 5.11 route on a nearby crag.

The day ended well.


Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 26, 2014 - 01:24am PT
The whole "hut" concept intrigues me. Thanks for letting us sneak along. I can see the Marzemino is a hit. Cavit is a very large producer of many wines but still maintain a level of quality. We sell their Chardonnay as one of our house-pours at Angelo"s. Sluurp.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Sep 26, 2014 - 02:26am PT
Makes one want to say
in a more classic language

Youth is wasted on the young
The truth is here, that all in all

The meaning of youth is
Still getting it done




Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2014 - 05:36pm PT
Thanks all, for your support. I wouldn't keep posting this stuff, if I didn't think "some" folks on ST enjoy this sort of thread.

Day 5 was predicted to be wonderful weather, and at breakfast, Mistress Kim confirmed that those who survived the morning "warm-up" hike could do roped climbing with Mauro & her in the afternoon.

We hiked down a trail that circled a sunken high mountain valley. Perhaps a giant cave had once been there, then collapsed.

The trail on the other-side of the valley that went back up to the hut was much better than the trail down.

Then we got to go climbing at a dolomite cliff close to the hut. First Mauro followed a younger friend up a route that looked impossible, then Kim followed it and proclaimed it hard 5.11 or 5.12.

When Kim lowered off from what she proclaimed a (to her) fun route, you could easily see how overhanging it was.

Time to work on dinner prep with Heidi. More later!


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 26, 2014 - 05:45pm PT
Mountain hedonists....the lot of you! Your only hope is two consecutive open bivys as penance...sans sleeping bags, of course.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2014 - 09:11pm PT
Donini! I copied some photos on the hut walls that showed other Doninis, who were valued Brenta Dolomite climbers.


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 26, 2014 - 09:25pm PT
My cousin Vinny! Seriously, I was told by my father that Doninis climbed in the Dolomites....quite likely a relative of some sort.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 27, 2014 - 12:13am PT
Fortunato, aka Lucky. I work with a guy by that name. That is funny.

That last set of pics were the best yet, Fritz.

While you are there, be sure to drink at least one bottle of a wine they call Amarone. From the Veneto, It is made from dried grapes(raisins) and can get rare, but there are probably a few affordable representations that I am sure you could wrap your mind and your wallet around. I'm talking about a wine that you could buy here in Seattle at a wine shop for 40-200 samolians.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2014 - 11:27am PT
Mauro put a rope up on two short routes, a 5.6 & a 5.7 for us to exercise on. Heidi & I found that our fat-toed & compfy Keen hiking shoes did not work well on Dolomite rock, but we managed to make it up the routes.

After most of us had climbed those routes, Mauro ran the rope up a much longer adjacent 5b that Kim assured us was 5.9. We quickly divided into spectators and climbers.

My old 70's climbing buddy Chris "manned-up" and climbed the route.

Then Heidi stepped up after I refused the invite, however the wiley lass had borrowed Mauro's climbing shoes.

Here she is, in a moment of clarity, likely remembering she hasn't climbed a 5.9 in the last 3 years.

Then she climbed & cleaned the route---no problem. It does appear that 5.b is more like 5.8 than 5.9.

With that out of the way, we retired to the hut to celebrate our last night in the wilderness and of course to toast "cheating death while climbing".

Sunset on the real Dolomites.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 27, 2014 - 11:31am PT
Now I'm bummed. You've worn out the rock and drunk all the wine.
I'm canceling my trip.
grey thunder

Trad climber
Hanover, NH
Sep 29, 2014 - 04:22am PT

We wish you a very special and very Happy Birthday. Its one of these days.

From the Eastern Section of the D.F.C.& F.C.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2014 - 10:13am PT
Bruce! Thanks for the BD wish. Rainy here today, so it looks like an inside day with a possible visit to a local hot-spring this afternoon.

One of their many pools is covered for inclement weather days.

So------guess I better finish off this trip-report.

The final morning was pleasant and coolish, & we hiked down about 3,300 scenic vertical-feet and a few miles to Rif. Croz dell'Altissimo, where a rough road & a Land-Rover took us down another 2,000 vertical-feet to the scenic resort town of Molveno.

Here's Heidi's telephoto of the Campanile Basso,which is one of the more popular technical summits in the Brenta Dolomites. It even has its own Wikipedia page.
Kim kept drawing our attention to the 1,000 ft. tall pinnacle, since she had climbed it with guide friends, in a rainstorm, the previous week.

Along our hike at a pleasant hut, Heidi found some chickens to befriend, and I had fun with a curiously calm marmot.

We reached the lake at Molveno, which happens to be named Lago di Moveno, about lunch-time, found a pleasant beach & a sandwich shop, & enjoyed the views while the Land Cruiser returned for the rest of our group.

Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Sep 29, 2014 - 11:15am PT
Winter, summer or in-between the Dolomites are a mountaineers heaven on earth. What a magical place, thanks for the thread....a mandatory visit for all mountain/fun prone folks....


Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2014 - 03:26pm PT
I had friends on the trip share some more photos of interest.

When we got back to Arco, we of course had to have a "here's to cheating death!" dinner celebration combined with a 55th Birthday party for Angie. I think we had fun.

Heidi found a tractor out on the street, but luckily not the keys.

and the trip leaders did a group pose in front of Arco's church.

Then, on the way back to our hotel, Heidi & I found a local dive bar.

The next morning we were booked for a nearby Via Ferata, that Kim hadn't done, and the young guide simply assured us it would be much fun.

It was the most technical Via Ferrata we had done & it also involved canyoneering up a creek in a narrow limestone canyon. No-one escaped with dry-feet-----and it was fun.

There were two cable bridges for variety. The guide seemed somewhat concerned that folks were going to come to grief on the longer one. No-one did.

I kept my feet pretty dry for a long time, but had a rock roll on me on this stretch.

At the top of the canyon, we came out in a vineyard, walked up behind a castle, discovered a small restaurant, & enjoyed wine, until our van arrived to haul us off the mountain. All very civilized, we thought.

The next day we were off to Venice, which I won't bother describing. We liked Verona much better.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2014 - 04:40pm PT
Moosedrool. A good question.

I never thought I was about to die, but I easily could have, numerous times.

High points of nearly having an adventure, were:

Our first Via Ferrata in the Brenta Dolomites was not difficult, but was somewhat airy for about 3 hours of walking ledge systems with a bunch of up and down. I also somehow had developed very slight vetigo, from splitting my eyes between the trail and the clouds in the valley below.

We suffered a high altitude hail storm, with only one nearby lightning strike, but there was no options other than moving on at a somewhat faster pace on ball-bearing covered wet limestone.

Other than that, it was a pretty fun "old-fart," mostly under-control, adventure.

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