12 Jun 2014

Italian Vacation

We spent a great week in Ortisei, in the Val Gardena Dolomites. We had the pleasure of meeting up with my old friend Robert, his buddy Goran, and Fred Beckey, now at age 91 on his second trip to the Dolomites.


We arrived early after a long traffic-filled drive from Germany. Once we got into the apartment at 2 pm, I went for a jog/hike up to a point just below Belea. We cooked spaghetti for dinner.


We hiked up to Belea, then under cliffs to the Mittelstation where we took the lift down. Great hike! Then we went to dinner with Robert, Fred and Goran.


We took the kids cragging at Pusc dl Preve, along with Fred, Robert and Goran. Goran led a nice crack (“Comici,” 5b) that became my favorite route of the crag. I belayed Fred on a short climb but his back was sore from the plane journey so he didn’t climb too much.

Rowan and Kris at dinner that night.


Robert, Goran and I climbed the Abrams Route on the Gamsband (VII), 12 pitches. Then we started the Steger Route (IV+) on Sella One but bailed after three pitches because it looked like it was going to rain.


Kris, the boys and I took the lift up to the Seiser Alm, hanging out for a while despite some rain in the meadows. Kris got some nice pictures of the fellas.

The view across the Seiser Alm.


We climbed on Sasso della Palestra in the Steinerne Stadt underneath the Langkofel. The boys and I climbed “Mammolo” (4a) and “Cucciolo” (4a), a couple of nice short (12 m) routes.

Elijah on Mammolo (4a).

Afterwards we had lunch at a hut near the pass with Goran and Robert, who had just climbed the Vinatzer Route (VI-) on the Third Sella Tower. We went home and I headed out for a hike to the summit of Pic (2342 m) above Ortisei. This was 1100 meters elevation gain. I had to run down as quickly as possible to beat screaming wind and rain. Great fun!

Kris and the boys went swimming in town. Later, we headed over to have a BBQ with Robert and the gang.


We repeated a via ferrata we’d done as a family two years before: the Kleine Cirspitze. This time we had to buy some gear first in town. It was a great climb, though it sprinkled for a little while and worried me a moment. Afterwards, we had a great pizza in town. Later, the boys played in the apartment and Kris and I went out for drinks with Goran and Robert while a World Cup soccer game played on the bar tv to much cheering and booing.


Last day! I left the house at 5:30 am to quickly climb two Sella Towers with the guys. We hurried up 11 pitches and then ran to the car to ensure we’d be back at 9 am. We had to pack and clean at our respective apartments. I said goodbye to Robert and Goran, it’d been such fun! They set off to get Fred Beckey home, and Kris, the boys and I headed back to the Steinere Stadt to climb a few more routes. First on Sasso della Malga, we climbed “Dopolavoro” (4c), which was quite challenging for the fellas! I led “Cengia dei camosci” (4c) and thought it was a far bit harder. The boys took a pass on this one. We hiked over to the Sasso della Ortiche and climbed “Duich” (4a), which also was challenging but fun. Then we played “monster” in the rocks for a while, went for some Kaiserschmarrn, and then made the drive back to Germany.