High-Energy Adventures in the Dolomites

High-Energy Adventures in the Dolomites

High-Energy Adventures in the Dolomites

Playing more than 2000 meters above sea-level is dramatic and exhilarating for adrenaline junkies or dedicated hikers. With spectacular views as the backdrop, luxury spas and delicious food, the towering mountains around Valgardena, Northern Italy, have something for everyone.

High up in the Alps, the Dolomite range around Valgardena is unique in so many ways. It is home to 25,000 thousand inhabitants who share a language that is rooted in Latin but spoken only in the valley. They have their own TV and radio station in the local language, and are supremely proud of their heritage. The area is immaculate and the architecture uniformly alpine.

Another exciting activity exclusive to the Alps is the Via Ferrata (Iron Road). Clipped into a cable, you can ascend vertical walls without any climbing experience.

I went to the Dolomites to hike in the mountains. The high-altitude routes are challenging but awe-inspiring. A 57 kilometer ride around the Sella Ronda Mountain took eight hours, eight lifts and 4000 meters of vertical descent, through mountain passes, gravel single track, root-bound woodland and sandy berms.

I have the road-rash to prove it. A few bike shops in town offer rentals and guided tours. The guides are usually local and can fix you up with a full-suspension bike, then take you on a challenging tour. They also have bikes for children, will rent you protective gear and provide guides for age-appropriate rides.

Another exciting activity exclusive to the Alps is the Via Ferrata (Iron Road). Clipped into a cable, you can ascend vertical walls without any climbing experience. Kitted out with helmets, harnesses and attached to carabiners and ropes, you climb crevasses and seemingly impossible walls, and cross stomach-churning rope bridges on an adventure that you thought was reserved only for expert climbers. Expert climbers can also hire a guide to assist them in lead-roping technical rock faces.

There are endless hikes networking up, down and across these beautiful mountains. In local lodges you can stop for a fine Austrian beer or a glass of Italian wine to accompany your bowl of local pasta or sausage. The food and drinks combine the best of all that is Austrian and Italian.

There are endless hikes networking up, down and across these beautiful mountains. In local lodges you can stop for a fine Austrian beer or a glass of Italian wine to accompany your bowl of local pasta or sausage. The food and drinks combine the best of all that is Austrian and Italian.

Valgardena is dotted with exquisite hotels and spas, so at the end of the day, you can descend from the mountains to enjoy a massage or a dip in a pool with a breathtaking view of the jagged peaks. Work hard, relax hard.

What to pack for the Dolomites:

  • Hiking boots – you will definitely be hiking at some point.
  • A raincoat – be prepared for the weather to change at any moment in the mountains.
  • T-shirt and sweater. Think layers.
  • Woolen socks.
  • Shoes for cycling – you don’t need clip-ins, however.
  • Cycling shorts.
  • Convertible pants – long legs may need to be converted to shorts on hot days and hard climbs.

For the evening:

  • A dress — Valgardena errs on the fancy side, so if you prefer to be casual, make sure that your wardrobe is on the smart-casual side. It’s not the place to pull out a fave tee that has been balled in the bottom of your rucksack.
  • A sweater – the temperatures drop in the evening, so mid-summer can be chilly at night.
  • Shoes that will work on cobblestones.

Related Content:

Daring to Fly in the Swiss Alps
Austrian Alps: The Hills are Alive
Paragliding over the Austrian Alps

High-Energy Adventures in the Dolomites

Have you traveled to the Dolomites? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your story with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear about your experience.

 

About Clare Tattersall

Clare TattersallClare Tattersall has written for several magazines including Marie Claire, she is a published playwright, has written non-fiction books and is an award-winning copywriter. She is the founder and designer of Primrose & Wilde, a brand of outerwear for the woman who sees the silver lining in every raincloud. Clare Tattersall, combines her love of writing and fashion with a love of international travel and extreme sports including rock-climbing, white-water kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, running and can be found exploring life’s extremities on any day of the week.

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