Snowshoeing in the Dolomites
Snowshoeing is a great way to keep fit and a fantastic way to take in some stunning scenery as our intrepid Fort William store Manager, Ben, explains in his recent trip to the Dolomites.
We had been to the Fanes area before on a 4-day traverse from Cinque Torre but this time we thought we'd spend a bit more time there and explore the many excellent options for snowshoeing.
First we had a bit of a shake-down trek up to the Tre Cime Lavaredo with the intention of traversing around the massif from the Rifugio Auronzo (2333m). However, when we reached the hut it was obvious that the unseasonably warm weather had caused large avalanches to cross our chosen route and made it too dangerous to continue.
Avalanches were again in evidence as we made our way to the Rifugio Sennes from Fiames, a great deal of debris having crossed the main path to the hut. White-out conditions prevailed all the way with the hut appearing out of the clag at the very last minute. This is a great hut for those with ski-touring in mind as the situation is superb and the hospitality equally so. Next day we dropped down to the Pederu hut before climbing up to the Fanes valley and the Rifugio at it's end. Again, this hut is in a superb position with many well-known tours of all grades from its door. The next couple of days were spent snowshoeing in the hills and valleys surrounding the hut in weather that swung from bluebird to white-out and in snow conditions that were at times... worrying.
Our final day took us over the top of the pass and down in the direction of Cortina, surprisingly making the first tracks in an area normally quite popular and well-travelled. Once again though, avalanche debris littered the trail, perhaps explaining why it was so quiet! Rain greeted us in the town and a mega-storm was hitting the German autobahns; time to head home!
Thanks must go to Mountain Equipment and The North Face for kindly supplying clothing and equipment for this trip. Of special note: my TNF Verto S4K boots which kept my feet warm, dry and comfortable every day and were a joy to put on first thing in the morning! My ME Shield Jacket was perfect protection in the cold/dry conditions in the hills and great when the wind picked up and the TNF Prophet 40 sac was ideal for packing everything in to the huts for a few nights stay but carried equally as well on day tours.