|Punta Frida seen from Refugio Lavarado.|
John Young and I had our trip to the Dolomites in our diaries for well over a year . It was just as well because any climbing high around Chamonix had been obliterrated by the heat wave, which has made mountaineering unjustifiably dangerous.
We drove to Cortina via Milan. The roads were markedly quiet. This was because evryone was in the Dolomites, as the 15th August is a bank holiday in Italy, so most people seemed to just tack on a further four days!
Fourtuantly John had booked us into the the very comfortable Villa Blu Hotel just on the outskirts of the town. We made this our" base camp" for the first five nights.
|The Hotel Villa Blu|
This was John's first trip to the Dolomites and so we started on the relitively simple Via Del Guide on the Cinque Torri. The approach is fast : You sit on a chair lift for about 10 minutes, then you walk to the foot of the route in about 15minutes. Of course there is a price to pay in that there was the inevitable queue. Luckly the two teams in front of us set of the wrong way and we were able to get in front and enjoy a good climb in beautiful weather and sublime scenary. Once we were on the top of the tower we made three rappels and then went to look around the old 1st world war fortifications.
|Climber on 1st pitch of Via del Guide|
Having enjoyed a good introduction to Dolomitic climbing , the next day we headed for another of the Dolomites classics: The Comici Route on the South ridge of the Falzargo Towers.
|The Falzargo Tower|
|Un ravelling the ropes at the start.|
|looking up the penultimate pitch.|
|Beautiful approach walk to Tour Wundt|
|one of the chimney pitches.|
|The crux. A hard move left into the sunshine|
|Our route followed the arête on the middle tower.|
A further half hour and we were at the start of the route. There was another pair Ditta and Lucas. Ditta was an Austrian Aspriant Guide and Lucas was his friend and
|John emerging out of the shadow.|
|Me on one of the many belays.|
|starting the long descent .|
|The new descent drops you above the car park|
|The Sella Towers|
|Finishing up the final pitch|
|John topping out on our final Dolomite tower.|
|The three Sella Towers seen from the road.|
This was a fine way to finish off climbing in the Dolomites. We departed via the Val Gardena and spent the night in the beautiful town of Brixen where we stayed in the Hotel Goldenes Roessi which is bang slap in the middle of the marvellous old town.
|view from the climb Amazzonia|
|John above the Vineyards|
|John contemplating his next move.|