How Instagram got me a trip to Italy!

How Instagram got me a trip to Italy!
September 5, 2016 Webmaster

I remember like it was yesterday – browsing through pictures on Instagram and coming across the Drei Zinnen towers. The shape of those towers rising from the ground just grabbed my mind and I knew I had to go there and see them in real life. The problem? The photo had “Dolomites” as their location, and I was sure that those towers were in Pakistan – where K2 lives.

This is where things got interesting. When I was in university, I lived in a house named “UN Headquarters”, primarily because everyone who lived in it was not from Canada – and that’s how I met Peter. An Italian guy who lived in the mountains, and loved them just as much as I did. I quickly sent the picture to him and said: “Man, let’s make a trip to Pakistan and climb some stuff around the Dolomites.”

Peter laughed. And could not believe that after living with him for that long, I still did not know that he was actually from the Dolomites, and they were definitely not in Pakistan, but in Italy – better, they were RIGHT where he lived.

The trip was set right from that conversation. I knew I had to get to Italy to see Peter – so I did.

The planning wasn’t too difficult, as Peter took care of all route-finding and hut reservations, and there I was, boarding a plane to Europe ready for my first climbing trip abroad.

I must say, this is my first season climbing and going up things, and I had no idea what to expect, and I was mostly excited to not only see my friend, but also check out such a beautiful park.

Packing was easy – Peter mentioned that the weather in the Dolomites was stable, and their forecasts were not fairytales, and could be trusted. Trusted? I thought… I still took a heavy pack with pretty much all my gear – but Peter was right, the weather was stable enough to trust a forecast, and we had 4 beautiful days in the Alpine with sunny skies and warm temperatures.

The Italians got a really interesting way of managing their parks, there are well-functioning huts pretty much everywhere, allowing you to have a nice cup of coffee at almost 11,000ft. Did I also say hot meals, and comfy beds at huts? I heard some of them even have showers…

Peter and I climbed the infamous Paternkofel/Monte Paterno, and finished the day traversing through the Camino de Alpini – a beautiful alpine traverse following the trails of soldiers in WWI. Incredible scenery. The climb itself was a moderate scramble, with some steep via ferrata sections.

Another highlight of the trip was the Odle area. The Odle area is quite famous for its ski hills, bringing professional athletes from all over the world. With such developed ski area, we took the ski lift 800m up the valley, and started our approach to climb the highest peak in the area from there: Sass Rigais.

Sass Rigais is a beast. With almost 11,000ft in height, the approach was somewhat brutal, and made me contemplate about my next holiday idea…maybe a beach in Mexico? The climb itself was nothing but fun, with incredible rock, and steep via ferrata, we reached the summit in just under 3 hours from the ski lift, and there it was – the feeling of accomplishment of climbing two beautiful mountains in just under 4 days.

South Tyrol/Dolomites is an incredible area. With numerous hiking, climbing, biking, and sightseeing opportunities. If you are planning a trip to the area, transportation to trailheads and reservations to huts can be a bit tricky if you don’t speak Italian or German (mostly spoken).

Huge thanks to my buddy Peter, and his incredible parents – for keeping up with my terrible jokes, and strong appetite.

See you guys next time!


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1 Comment

  1. Sid Lee 8 years ago

    Looks great Felipe ,great pics as usual keep up the good work.

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